SPRINTING TO STATE
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2023 UIL STATE TRACK & FIELD MEET
PEARSALL 400M RELAY TEAM TOPS FIELD, WINS REGION IV TITLE TO EARN SPOT AT UIL STATE MEET
Pearsall’s sprint relay team sped its way into the annals of school history by claiming the Class 4A Region IV title in the 400m relay at the regional championship track meet in Kingsville last weekend.
The regional title in the sprint relay is the first in school history as the Mavericks rallied from the second best time following prelims to top Pleasanton in the finals for the regional title.
Team members Leon Martinez, Nathaniel Rodriguez, Joey Ramirez and Curtis Saenz, took to the podium on Saturday afternoon to claim their gold medals in one of track and field’s marquee events.
“We are very proud of our student athletes for working hard all season and competing very well at the regional track meet,” PHS Head Coach Julian Hernandez said. “We were impressed with how our athletes responded to the tough competition and continued to fight for their placements.”
Hernandez said his team’s discipline and focus proved key going into the finals as they overcame consecutive losses to Pleasanton in the span of a week and strong winds on Saturday.
“Our 4×100 relay team had a good shot to go to the state meet going into this regional meet, it was going to come down to which team was disciplined enough to execute their exchanges and push through their zones,” he said. “We ran a nearly perfect race, despite the wind, and were able to punch our ticket to state.
“We are all very proud of these young men for how hard they have worked and how well they responded to the competition. They definitely deserve this opportunity.”
Pleasanton, area champions a week ago after they topped Pearsall in that event at Floresville, took another victory in prelims on Friday, April 28 as they finished first with a time of 42.67. The Mavericks clocked in at second with a time of 42.79.
Things changed in the finals on Saturday afternoon. Despite strong winds, Pearsall exacted a measure of revenge in the race on Saturday as they topped the field and took first overall. The Mavericks had a slower time, as did every other team, in the conditions and clocked in at 43.03. Pleasanton was second with a time of 43.11.
Saenz also competed in the 100m dash and 200m dash at regionals. He was fifth overall in the 200m with a time of 22.56. He was fifth in prelims with a time of 22.37. Xavier Butler of Freeport Brazosport won the event with a time of 21.40.
Ramirez also competed in the long and triple jump events for Pearsall and finished 11th in the long jump with a leap of 20’9-3/4″.
District runner-up and area pole vault champion Weston Hurst tied for second in the pole vault with a school record vault of 14′. He tied the mark he set a week ago in Floresville. Hurst finished fourth overall, however, as two other vaulters advanced on fewer attempts.
Jezzie Leal also took seventh in the high jump at regionals with a height of 5′. Her career best mark of 5’4″ would have placed her third at the event.
The top two finishers in each event advance to the state meet.
Pearsall will compete in the 400m relay at the UIL State Track and Field Meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin on Thursday, May 11 at 5 p.m.