TRACK AND FIELD: West Texas Relays notebook
Mar 10, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
CLEARING NEW HEIGHTS: Noah Zorsky didn't quite live up to his best, but his second-best was pretty good, too.
The Amarillo Tascosa High School senior won the Division I boys pole vault title with a leap of 16 feet Saturday at the West Texas Relays. That was just an inch under his personal best of 16-1, which came last week in Canyon.
Not bad for a guy who is just less than a year removed from breaking his leg during a vaulting accident.
"I was competing in Lubbock and came back down in the box and broke my fibula," Zorsky said. "I wasn't getting into the pit enough. My coach and I found new ways to vault and talked to more experienced vaulters about how to prevent that."
Zorsky was a regional qualifier as a sophomore and then missed out last year because of the injury.
That leaves a lot of goals ahead for his final season with the Rebels, like earning a first trip to the state meet. Zorsky's 16-1 last week is the second-highest vault in the state this season for athletes of any classification.
"It was a worry for us, a worry for him," Tascosa boys head coach Chad Dunnam said of Zorsky's return. "It's just confidence, and he spent a lot of time on his own. I think that problem has been corrected and he's feeling well about what he's doing."
Perhaps the biggest thing for Zorsky -- who said he fell in love with vaulting as a youth watching it on television -- is that he never thought about giving up the sport.
"People always ask me that, but no," Zorsky said. "I just wanted to go back out there and vault."
--TWO TITLES: Fort Stockton's Evan Card could have competed Friday with the rest of his Class 3A Panthers teammates in the Division II portion of the meet.
Instead, the senior opted to throw the shot put and discus in Division I against the Class 5A schools.
Card earned two gold medals for his efforts, including a personal-best throw of 56 feet, 6 inches, in the shot put. In the discus, he won with an effort of 158-5.
"I got a personal best in shot; I'm definitely not disappointed in that," Card said. "I threw pretty close to what I need to be throwing in discus, so I'm pretty satisfied with that."
Card has qualified the last two years for the state meet, last year in both events and as a sophomore in the discus.
He hasn't earned a medal yet, though he's doing just about everything possible to change that. Card is planning a trip to the Texas Relays later this season in order to get some extra time at the University of Texas' Mike A. Myers Stadium.
"Texas Relays definitely is a big one we're definitely going to want to do well at," Card said. "You see different competition and better competition than a lot of the meets around here."
--RUNNING EAGLES: Hobbs traveled from New Mexico for its first appearance at the West Texas Relays since 2001.
Thanks to its distance and mid-distance crew, the Eagles certainly made an impact.
Odessa College cross country signee Seraiah Pineda swept the 3,200 and 1,600 meters titles for Hobbs while teammate Joseph Flotte -- another OC signee -- was third in the 3,200. The Eagles also got a victory in the 800 from Sammuel Carrasco, who battled off Amarillo Tascosa's Edmund Pine.
"It's a great meet for us," said Bob Jackson, head coach of both the Hobbs boys and girls programs, which were making their season debut. "If we want to raise the level of track and field in Hobbs, you've got to come to meets like this to do that."
--CLEARING HURDLES: At last year's Region I-5A meet, Midland Lee's Talor Nunez missed out on a ticket to the state meet by two-tenths of a second.
That disappointment has fueled the 6-foot-3, 205-pound hurdler coming into his senior season, and Nunez has made the trip to Austin a priority this year.
"My goal is to go to state," said Nunez, who won the 110-meter hurdles Saturday and took sixth in the 300 hurdles. "And it's a pretty high goal, but I also want to run sub-14 (seconds)."
Nunez bested the field by a full hurdle in the 110s, coming in with a season-best time of 15.15 seconds.
"I felt pretty good," Nunez said. "I've been working a lot on my starts trying to get a better time. I actually slowed up a little bit on the fifth hurdle, but I've been getting better each and every week so that's my main goal."
Nunez, who also was the Rebels' quarterback in football and a two-year starter on the basketball team, plans to play football at Texas Tech.
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