MCALLEN – Nineteen city kids placed in the top six at the annual Meet of Champs last weekend, with five of them doing it in multiple events.
The Vela throwers were once again outstanding as Kobe Gipson was third in the discus and fifth in the shot put, teammate George Hinojosa coming fourth in the discus, fifth in the shot. EHS runner Angelica Noyola had a fine meet with a fourth in the 1600-meter run and a fifth in the 3200. Vela junior Danya Selber raced to fifth in the 100 and was part of the sprint relay group that carved out sixth. SaberCatJeremy Nino came fourth in the mile, fifth in the 800.
For the boys, EHS thrower Jorge Ayala had the top finish among all city athletes, second in the shot, along with Noah Trevino of Vela, silver medalist in the high jump. SaberCat Victor Segovia was third in the triple jump with teammate Mario Salas (fifth in the 3200) also showing well at the Valley-wide event.
On the girls’ side, Bella Villarreal was the top individual with a solid third-place leap in the high jump while Carmen Mata enjoyed a great day in the hurdles, getting fifth in the 300 meters.
Econ’s 4x200 relay ran sixth in McAllen while the North girls paced to fifth in the 4x400, with the team of Stephanie Puente, Evana Ramos, Trinity Ochoa, and Frida Ramiza-Barraza showing that the Lady Coogs are intent on a resurgence with the district meet set for the end of next week.
Vela (3-0) continues to lead the league thanks to a solid victory over Weslaco last week in which senior Nico Rodriguez recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts while Omar Mendoza (three RBI) and Ramsey Amador (three hits) led the offense.
North is a step back at 3-1 after wins Thursday-Friday over EHS, 5-2 and Weslaco East, 11-6.
The Bobcats went head to head with Econ Friday at home, hammering out a 12-2 win; the Jags came in with a result over Donna North earlier in the week.
Eric Martinez (.422, 21 RBI) leads an attack for Vela that hits .321 as a team good for seven runs per game. Senior Jonathan Navarro has driven in 18 runs and has a hefty .636 on-base percentage, while sophomore Mendoza has a .441 batting clip with 15 runs and 20 steals.
On the mound, Rodriguez is 5-1 with a 0.88 ERA, and has fanned 46 batters in 32 innings. Marc Esquivel has a 1.27 ERA and soph Carlos Pena has thrown 15 innings, with 12 strikeouts and a 1.40 ERA.
EHS has whittled its team ERA down to 3.88 thanks to freshman Darren Barrera, who struck out eight in the win against the Jags and also drove in two runs with a double. Nathan Ochoa leads the squad with 20 runs and 14 stolen bases while sophJorge Salinas continues to stroke the ball at the dish, with a .382 average and 16 RBI.
For North, Argelio Guajardo (.389 with five triples) and Robert Flores (.375, team-high 20 RBI) get help from Jonathan Almeida (10 RBI) and Carlos Acosta (.368). Burly Mike Anzaldua hurled for the win against EHS, fanning seven.
EHS VOLLEY STAR HEADED FOR COLLEGE
After proving herself every step along thejourney, Renee Ponce will attack another challenge in the fall when she attends Western Texas College in Snyder, in the Texas Panhandle.
During her four-year career at EHS, Ponce improved steadily, using her superb natural quickness and a regimen of hard work with the Venom club team to become one of the Valley’s best setters. The Review’s 2018 MVP has always been the type who overcomes obstacles, said coach Deanna Dominguez at Ponce’s signing Wednesday. Dominguez reminded the crowd that Ponce began as a B-teamer in middle school but worked her way through dozens of other girls to gain a starting spot, eventually duplicating that at the high school level.
As a senior, Ponce was the only returning starter but with patience and excellence managed to guide her youthful team to the playoffs. She said she is looking forward to playing for Western Texas, and hopefully exploring transfer to a larger school after two seasons.