The practice is over and it’s time to see who’s got it when it counts. The annual District 31-5A track and field meet will be held at Cats Stadium this weekend with prelims Thursday and finals Saturday.

There are a number of intriguing battles on tap at the event, including hotly contested events in sprints and distance, plus a couple of marquee matchups in the jumps.

For starters, senior Marco Adriana, the North speedburner who has been a big winner the past three campaigns, looks to keep pace with rival Victor Garcia of P-SJ-A Memorial; the latter has run a 10.36 this season while Adriana, also expected to compete for the crown in the long jump, has maxed out at 10.65 in 2009.

Those two will also face off in the 200, with Adriana at 22.2 and Garcia at 21.47 in their best showings of the spring.

On the girls’ side, look for EHS’s Veronica Tabb to be right there in both the 100 and 200, events she has fared well in this year. Tabb has clocked a 12.39 in the 100 and 26.53 in the 200, and appears to be the favorite in the shorter sprint this weekend.

The girls’ 3,200-meter run should be a dogfight, with each city school sending out a challenger to veteran star Gaby Salazar of P-SJ-A Memorial, one of the Valley’s best. Hilda Galloso of EHS, Karla Moreno of Econ and Stephanie Trevino of North finished 1-2-3 at the Flying W’s Relays in the last 2-mile competition before district.

Luis Serrano of North, no stranger to the top of the heap in the 3,200, has run 9:50.50 this year, placing him in the area elite, but he will have to fend off a strong rush from a busy field to win the race. In the middle distance clash, Serrano will run with Harlingen South’s Ryan McNutt, a Valley leader in the 800 this year.

As always, the Econ pole-vaulters are looking to dominate the 31-5A event, with the senior tandem of Gavino Galvan and J.D. Perez. Galvan has been the more consistent jumper this season after Perez was No. 1 last year. Galvan has cleared 14 feet and hopes to soar higher than Johnny Ray Hinojosa of Memorial, who has also gone 14.

Long-time star Julissa Ramirez is looking to advance to regionals once again in the hurdles. Her 16.07 personal best in the 110 looks good right now, but Harlingen South’s Zariah Noyola has gone 16.19, and it should be a great race. In the 300, Noyola (46.90) holds an edge over Ramirez (48.37) but the Lady Coog senior will try and knock off a few seconds to defeat her foe. She’ll also be competing in the high jump, against the league field but also with teammate Alma Chavez, a sophomore who has become the team’s most successful high-jumper this spring.

Team-wise, the North relay teams come into the district meet with the best shot at making it out to San Antonio. The boys have done well in the 400-meter relay particularly, and also feel confident in the 800. Most of the resistance in the mid-range relays will come from Memorial, a speedy bunch once again in 2009.