Hawks, Lady Panthers shine at District 32-6A meet

WESLACO — Coming into Saturday’s District 32-6A meet, Harlingen South head track & field coach Ralph De La Rosa knew that if it came down to the 1600-meter relay at the end, the Hawks had a chance and that’s all they would need.

With one boys event remaining on the schedule at Weslaco’s Bobby Lackey Stadium it was Harlingen High that found itself on top of the leaderboard with 124.5 points, followed by Harlingen South at 122 points and Weslaco High with 118. A win in the final event of the evening would give the winner the league title.

The Hawks may not have won the race, however they did finish ahead of both Weslaco and Harlingen with a time of 3:27.51, which was enough to walk away with the Hawks’ second district title in school history. The Hawks finished the meet with 134 points, just ahead of Harlingen’s 132.5 points and Weslaco’s 122 points.

“Our saying in practice is that if we’re still in it at the mile relay then we have a chance,” said Coach De La Rosa. “And I knew it was going to come down to that because the teams from our district are so solid and competitive that for it to come down to the mile relay was a great ending.

“Harlingen and Weslaco was coming after it and so for us you can’t get lost in that shuffle, and we had to just run our race and we couldn’t worry about anybody else’s. Sometimes in the drama of thing you kind of lose focus but we didn’t.”

Plenty of Harlingen South athletes will be moving on to the District 31/32-6A area meet. However, the evening was focused on South’s accomplishment of winning the boys team title.

“This is one of the times when our team has actually come together,” said South discus winner Abel Villarreal. “In the past years our field event team has scored high or it comes down to our runners who score high, but this season it has just come down to us being a team and everybody working together and contributing to our success this season.”

It came to nobody’s surprise that the Weslaco girls track team walked away with this year’s team title. In fact, it was the team’s sixth consecutive championship. The Lady Panthers finished the meet with 166.5 points, miles ahead of second place Weslaco East, which finished with 92 and third place Harlingen High which had 89.

“I’m very proud of the girls tonight, but of course it started on Thursday with the field event performance when we gave ourselves a really big cushion and I was really proud of them,” said Weslaco High head coach Pablo Almaguer. “It just goes to show the work they put in and they understand what they have to do in district meets.

“The past two weeks they been a little tired and as a coach I saw those things and was a little worried, but Thursday was a big eye opener for all of us just knowing that these girls can go out there and compete and do what they do.”