High School Track & Field: Tuloso-Midway girls, Calallen boys capture district titles

Rey Castillo
Corpus Christi Caller Times
Calallen's Justice McClure competes in the hurdles at the District 31-4A track meet, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Alice. Calallen, Alice, Tuloso-Midway, Kingsville and Robstown had athletes compete.

ALICE –– Tuloso-Midway’s Alizah Villegas and Calallen’s Justice McClure would love nothing more than to make a run at a track and field state championship.

Both seniors know the opportunity to advance to the state meet in Austin is now or never.

"Ever since seventh grade, it’s been my goal to go to state and win state," Villegas said. "Our sophomore year, we were able to make it but we didn’t come out first. Last year, we didn’t get to go because of COVID-19, so we want to accomplish that goal this year."

Both runners did their part on Wednesday by helping their teams capture the District 31-4A track and field team titles at Alice Memorial Stadium.

McClure finished the district meet by winning four individual events: the 100-meter hurdles, 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and the pole vault. 

Villegas won two individual events in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles and was a key part in the Cherokees' 1,600-meter relay team that finished in first with a time of 4 minutes, 11.88 seconds.

The T-M girls finished with a team score of 212.5 points and the Wildcats edged Tuloso-Midway 185-177 to secure first place in boys.

The two teams will compete in the  District 31-32-4A area meet on April 15 in La Feria. 

“It means a lot because we worked day in and day out," McClure said. "Area title or regional title, we want it all. It gives us a lot of momentum because sometimes we don't know what we're capable of. We surprise ourselves sometimes."

Villegas said her biggest motivation to run comes from her late grandmother who raised her to be the athlete she is today. 

"I try my hardest because everything I do is for my grandma," Villegas said. "Everything I do, I want to do my best. My grandma raised me, so I know she would want me to be the best at everything. Everything I do is for her."

Villegas and teammate Heavenlee Vasquez set the tone early for the Cherokees by winning two of the first three running events. 

Villegas won the 100 hurdles prelim in 15.41 and Vasquez crossed the finish line first in the 800 with a time of 2:29.95.

"My seniors are the ones that lead," Tuloso-Midway coach Esequiel Hernandez said of Villegas and Vasquez. "Those seniors are what make the core of this team and the underclassmen follow along. They set the example."

Athletes compete in the District 31-4A track meet, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Alice. Calallen, Alice, Tuloso-Midway, Kingsville and Robstown had athletes compete.

The Calallen girls placed second and the Alice girls finished third in the team standings.

The Coyotes won the 800-meter relay with a time of 1:49.43. 

Robstown took fourth with Zapata (5th) and Kingsville (6th) evening out the test of the programs.

Jazmine Miller led the Lady Pickers by winning the 100-meter dash, 200, and 400.  

"We're grateful and want to keep giving it our all," Villegas said. "Track is everything to us, so we're going to give it everything we got. There's no turning back."

On the boys side, Tuloso-Midway won silver and Alice took home bronze. Kingsville placed fourth with Zapata finishing fifth and Robstown sixth. 

The Wildcats and Warriors traded first-place finishes with Calallen winning the 110 hurdles and T-M winning the 400. Calallen captured first place in the the 3,200 and the 400 relay proved to be the difference between first and second.  

"We have some really quality guys," said Calallen coach Steve Campbell. "You don't necessarily have to have a whole lot of people at the area and regional meets –– you just have to have quality. We have some quality throwers, we have some quality field events in the jumps, and we have some quality relays and a hurdler in McClure."

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