The Harlingen South Hawks boys track team might have won its second District 32-6A championship in school history last weekend, however the team is in no way leaning on it to get them through the 31/32 area meet on Thursday at Bobby Lackey Stadium in Weslaco.
Last Saturday, the Hawks team won the league meet by earning 134 total points, just ahead of crosstown rival Harlingen High, which finished second with 132.5 points and Weslaco High, which finished third with 122.
“We’re moving forward from the district meet,” said Harlingen South head coach Ralph De la Rosa. “We celebrated that night then afterward we got back to work and hit the grindstone.”
For the Hawks, Abel Villarreal, Marcus Ramirez and Andrew Ott excelled in the field events portion of the meet. All three finished first in their respective events.
Villarreal took first in discus with a throw of 157-05, Ott took first in the shot put with a toss of 50-09.50 and Ramirez also nabbed first in the pole vault with a jump of 14-06.
Another notable standout was Adrian Morales, who finished second in the high jump (6-04.00) and third in the triple jump (41-11.00).
On the track portion of the meet, Israel Villarreal raced his way to a first-place victory in the 300-meter hurdles while teammate Brandon Villarreal finished second in the 100 (11.04) and third in the 200 (22.83).
Another notable standout was Crestony Martinez, who took silver in the 400 run (51.63) after finishing third in the preliminaries.
In the relays, South finished third in the 4×100 (43.88) and third in the 4×400 with a time of 3:27.51.
Last season the Hawks finished second in district but won the area meet, providing plenty of motivation heading into this week.
As Coach De la Rosa explained, “I was going to give the kids Monday off since there is no school, but they insisted on practicing.
“We won it last year and it would be nice if we could go back and defend the area title,” added De La Rosa. “However it’s going to be extremely difficult because there are some talented kids out there and some teams that are phenomenal at what they do.
“We ran some really good times in the district meet and the kids ran inspired, so to come back and do that again for the second week in a row is tough. You just have to find something within you to make you want to go out there and do it.”
Nevertheless the area meet will pit Harlingen South against some familiar powers like Harlingen High and Weslaco High, but it will also introduce other talented teams like PSJA Southwest, which won the District 31-6A meet for the third consecutive year.
“They’re tough and they got some good looking kids, and they get after it,” De La Rosa said of PSJA Southwest. “But we can’t overlook Weslaco High and Harlingen High. In the end you can’t worry about everyone else and that’s been our mindset all year long. Don’t worry about anybody else in other uniforms and just worry about ourselves. Stay in our lane and run fast.”