By the time a bizarre afternoon was complete, there had been rain, cold, wind, sunny moments, still seconds…everything but an earthquake, and why has Saturday become a merry-go-round the past two weeks?

Despite being at the mercy of the vacillating elements, the annual Cat Relays came and went Saturday at the Stadium, with the North teams again making a fine showing. The boys finished one tantalizing point out of first place, edged by Sharyland 120-119, while the girls were second, behind impressive San Benito with its regenerating hydra of a sprint group.

It marked the second week in a row that a Cougar team had come down to the final event needing a big performance in the mile relay. Last week in McAllen the Lady Coogs won the meet at the last second; this time it was the boys in the running for the title, but they came up fourth in the race, needing a third to turn the trick.

Nonetheless, it was another solid outing, and many of the Lady Coogs are beginning to make a habit out of winning. Take Alma Chavez for instance. The strong-legged sophomore took the high jump for the third week in a row, and seems to get better every meet.

Saturday she shuttled back and forth between the long jump and high jump at the same time, but didn’t bat an eyelash at the busy load.

“It was kind of fun actually, since it was only two events, I didn’t really get tired,” she said, after scaling 4-10 but missing three times at 5-0. “Some of the girls were making fun of me because I was so hyper, all dancing around and laughing.”

The field-event portion came off in 60-degree weather that felt colder, after a front had surprised the Valley in the morning. After a Friday on which McAllen set a record for high temperature in February, a scorching 101, the Cat Relays was a tough muster early on.

“It’s harder to get warmed up on a day like this,” admitted Chavez, who has calves like shapely rocks and is in the weight room five days a week with senior mentor Julissa Ramirez and the rest of the Lady Coogs. “But it’s better than sweating all over the place!”

With Chavez and Ramirez dominating the high jump, plus the bevy of young distance runners, North is looking like a favorite to win the district. For Chavez, it’s a lot to take in.

“I didn’t even place until the fifth meet last year, so this is sort of surprising,” she noted. “I am starting to get more nervous with each meet, the closer we get to district. My coach told me before the season to avoid the sophomore jinx.”

Head man Rene Saenz and assistant Karla Hernandez are pleased with the progress of their soph, one of the few athletes at the school who has decided to specialize in one sport. Hernandez said Chavez needs to improve her practice consistency, but that she’s done well so far.


BOYS TEAM: 1. Sharyland 120; 2. North 119

Shot put: 5. Eli Eyzaguirre, EHS 45-0

Triple jump: 4. Marco Adriana, North 40-6

Pole vault: 1. Gavino Galvan, Econ 14-1

400 relay: 1. North 43.34; 5. EHS 44.31

800: 1. Adrian Coronado, North 2:01.31; 5. Omar Trujillo, EHS 2:04.95

100: 1. Adriana, North 10.65

800 relay: 3. North 1:33.28

300 hurdles: Mac Cardenas, North 41.69; 4. Adrian Saenz, North 42.16

1,600: 2. Luis Serrano, North 4:30.24; 5. Joe Morales, North 4:38.26

1,600 relay: 4. North 3:30.86

GIRLS TEAM: 1. San Benito 140; 2. North 101.5; 4. EHS 50

Shot put: 3. Leslie Gracia, EHS 32-6

Discus: 5. Gracia, EHS 88-1

Triple jump: 2. Shay Hernandez, Econ 31-10; 4. Julissa Ramirez, North 31-3

High jump: 1. Alma Chavez, North 4-10; 3. Ramirez, North 4-8

3,200: 3. Hilda Galloso, EHS 12:33.72; 5. Stephanie Trevino, North 13:11.31

400 relay: 3. North 54.20

800: 4. Stephanie Vazquez, EHS 2:32.5

100 hurdles: 2. Ramirez, North 16.38

100: 2. Veronica Tabb, EHS 12.44

800 relay: 1. EHS 1:53.53; 2. North 1:53.56

300 hurdles: 2. Ramirez, North 48.84; 4. Briana Ramirez, EHS 51.42

200: 5. Dani Vargas, North 28.34

1,600 relay: 4. North 4:19.46; 5. EHS 2:27.88