It was a historic afternoon for the Canyon Eagles track and field program. For the first time in their history, Canyon claimed the team championship in front of an estimated 3,000 fans during the 67th Amarillo Relays Meet of Champions on Saturday at Dick Bivins Stadium.
The win came in about as thrilling fashion as anyone could ask. Canyon trailed Lubbock-Cooper 83-82 in points heading into the mile relay, the final race of the day. Canyon was able to get a silver medal and get 16 points to hold off Lubbock-Cooper which got third in the race only racking up 12 points as the Eagles won the meet 98 to 95.
“I can’t say enough about how we competed as a team,” Canyon head coach Cade Wartes said. “We just continue to get better, and these guys just want to be good. It’s rewarding to see this effort after all the work they put in.”
Seth Green highlighted the meet for Canyon. The senior opened his day by winning a gold in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.76. Green then rallied down the stretch to catch Matthew Reynaga of Dumas in the last 50 yards to win the 300-meter hurdle event, clocking a 39.04 to Reynaga’s 39.29.
“This is a big meet,” said Green, who set a new personal mark in the 300-meter event. “You really get to see some great competition and I always think that pushes you. I have so much respect for (Matthew) Reynaga. I go up against him a lot and I had to chase him down. He’s one of the best, but I really feel like I’m running well right now.”
Green capped off his day as the anchor leg on the mile relay that ran a 3:25.86 to finish second behind Dumas but stamp their claim to the team championship. Joining Green as an individual champion on Saturday was teammate Alex Niemiec who won the 800-meter run by clocking a season best time of 1:56.09. Teammate Ryan Fernandez followed with a silver medal running a 1:58.95. The Eagles also caught a break as the 800-meter team was awarded a gold medal (1:31.32) after Amarillo High was disqualified in the middle of the race for running outside of their lane.
“It was just a total team effort,” Wartes said. “We just want to keep getting better and putting in the work.”
Ortiz impresses at Amarillo Relays
Canyon’s Seth Green wasn’t the only sprinter on display on Saturday. Dumas senior Oliver Ortiz turned a lot of heads with his outstanding performance in the 400-meter run as well as the anchor leg on the mile relay.
Ortiz, a Northern Colorado University football signee, left the field behind to put up a new season best time of 49.17 to get a gold in the 400-meter race. Ortiz then showed how special he is as the anchor leg of the mile relay running a 49 second split to help his team of Aaron Lawrence, Imanol Marquez and Andrew Flores not only win the last race of the day but boast a new season best mark of 3:22.19.
“It was a fun day,” Ortiz said. “I told my coaches that I was struggling a little bit and my legs were a little sore after the quarter race. They believed in me and told me I was built different and to go out and run my best. I’m glad I listened and was able to win this race with my teammates.”
Randall’s Nathan Baker put on a sprinting display clocking a 10.57 to win a very good 100-meter dash.
After winning the 3200-meter run on Friday, Noah Watt of Amarillo High made it another strong outing getting another gold medal this time in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:31.70.
The Crockett sprint and 800-meter relay teams set new eighth grade meet records on Saturday. The sprint relay of Brecken Brown, Creed Cavalier, Nolan Barney, and Landon Barker broke the meet record with a time of 45.75. The 800-meter relay team of Miles Rodriguez, Cavalier, Barney and Baker then ran a 1:36.34 for their second meet record of the afternoon.
Kyron Brown of Travis Middle School broke an eighth grade record in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.36.
Hunter Spier of Bonham Middle School set a new eighth grade meet record with a toss of 163-feet-7 inches in the discus event.
Lubbock-Cooper’s Callin Ritz sprinted to a gold medal time of 22.61 to win the 200-meter dash.
Lubbock-Cooper won the sprint relay with a time of 42.86.
Robert Nora of Clovis, N.M. had a leap of 45-6 1/2 to win gold in the triple jump.