The 64th running of the Sams Relays in Brownsville acted as the first meet for most of the teams in attendance, but only the Weslaco High girls and Edinburg Vela boys walked away from Sams Memorial Stadium with meet victories Saturday.
The Weslaco High girls finished first with a score of 139, followed by McAllen High (118), Hanna (73), Sharyland Pioneer (58) and Los Fresnos (53). Despite being shorthanded, the Lady Panthers still managed to take home the meet crown for the third time in four years.
“It was interesting because we came out here with a skeleton crew,” Weslaco High coach Pablo Almaguer said. “We had most of our girls here, but we had three or four out at a church retreat for their confirmation. A few of our top girls weren’t her, so we came in with the mindset of coming in to get some work in, compete, do your best and let things happen. I was real impressed with how they stepped up and good things happened for us.”
Edinburg Vela topped the boys standings with 122 points, followed by Harlingen high (103), McAllen High (92), Corpus Christi Carroll (54) and Los Fresnos (52).
“It was a good starting point for the year,” Vela assistant track coach Arnold Flores said. “The kids overcame some obstacles throughout the meet, and it’s something they can with during the rest of the season.”
“It’s a great team win,” added Vela hurdler Victor Segovia. “Everyone contributed, starting from the relays, discus, everything. It was a great team effort.”
In addition to the team awards, there were two high-point winners named after the meet.
Weslaco High’s Amity Ebarb took home the girls award with 34 points.
Ebarb took home gold in the 800-meter run after finishing in 2 minutes, 19.79 seconds, placed first in the 400 dash with a time of 58.17 and was on the winning 1,600-meter relay team. She also finished second in the long jump (16 feet, 7.25 inches) and sixth in the triple jump (33-0.25).
On the boys side, Harlingen High’s Jose Garcia was the high-point winner with 23 points after winning the long jump (22-05.50), placing second in the 100-meter dash (10.83) and being part of the third-place 400-meter relay team.
MORE FOR MORA
After taking gold in the 100-meter dash during last week’s shortened Bobby Morrow relays, Hanna’s Jacqueline Mora had another golden day at the Sams Relays.
Mora was a double gold winner after placing first in the 100 (12.69) and the 200 (26.44).
The Hanna sprinter said it’s only the beginning as she hopes to continue to improve her times.
“I’m trying to improve my time day by day, every day,” Mora said. “I go work out twice a day every day, and I’m always grinding. This is what I’m trying to do right now; it’s my passion and it’s what I love. I’m trying to go to colleges and be noticed. I’m just trying to win and pick my team up with me.”
Part of the excitement of the Sams Relays came in the early field events, where meet records in the girls triple and high jumps were broken by a pair of McAllen High athletes.
In the triple jump, Aniah Chaleff-Reyna recorded a jump of 36 feet, 6.75 inches, breaking the mark of 36-06 set by Sharpston High’s Cherrise Taylor in 1986.
In the high jump, Hannah Kelley’s mark of 5-6 was enough to top Port Isabel’s Gabriyella Torres, who set the meet record with a 5-4 in 2015.