Trish Gray / Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Freshman Vanessa Gamboa sprints to the finish. She is one of the Hornets’ top sprinters.
Ronnie Murphy / Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Brandon Rebujio, a promising freshman long distance runner, sprints around a curve at a meet in Boulder City.
Ronnie Murphy / Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Christina Thompson took second place at the Ron Resler Invitational in the long jump. She is on track to be state champion.
Ronnie Murphy / Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Beatty freshman Jasmin Pelayo runs the 1,600-meter run at Boulder City last week. Hornets Coach Jerry Adcox was pleasantly surprised this year when she came out and ran state champion times.
Since Hornets Coach Jerry Adcox has been at Beatty, the Hornets track has had a tradition of hard running long distance runners. This tradition propelled the girls team to a state championship last year.
Two current Beatty long distance runners, sophomore Enrique Orozco and freshman Jasmin Pelayo, are getting a trial by fire with Hornets track. These two runners have the ability to be state champions.
Adcox has always said that the way to get better is to compete against better teams. For the most part this has been the case for Beatty because they have been competing at meets with schools four times their size this entire season.
“We have had for the past 20 years excellent distance runners since I got here whether it’s girls or boys. The past several years we have been dominant in the south in the girls division. We have also had one or two individuals in the male division, but not as dominant as the females,” Adcox said.
For Enrique Orozco, the harder competition has been great. He welcomes it and every chance to get better.
“When I went to the Arbor View meet I felt the competition there was tough. One of the reasons was because I injured myself before the meet. There were some kids that were pretty fast,” he said.
Orozco has been running since he was in 6th grade. He is ranked 2nd in the state in Division IV in the 800-meter run, the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter run. He also does pole vault for the team and is currently 3rd in the state in that event.
“Track is just my sport and I love it. When I am running I feel like I am flying. Usually when I run, I run with other people so they push me and I push them. Running alone, I can’t do it and I am really not sure why, it’s a weird thing,” he said.
Adcox said Enrique came in last year as a freshman and he was really dominant as a runner of all distances, but he is a jack of all trades.
“He can triple jump, pole vault, he can do the distances and he can do the sprints,” he said. “Last year he was the fastest sprinter. I haven’t put him in that this year because of Michael Olson and Johnpaul Adajar. They will be dominant in future years. You can coach a lot of stuff but you can’t coach speed and they have the raw talent. Statewide he is in the top 3-4. I expect him to medal high in all three of those. He should dominate.”
Adcox said Orozco is not alone in the stable of runners for the boys. Brandon Rebujio is also 9th in the state in the 1,600 and is only a freshman and in the 3,200 Michele Grisafi should help Orozco out too for he is 4th in the state.
Orozco said his goal is to go sub 4:50 in the 1,600-meter this season.
For the Beatty girls, Pelayo has been a big help to the team as a freshman. She is currently ranked the top 1,600-meter runner in the state in Division IV and the 2nd in the 3,200-meter run. She just took up running long distance seriously as a freshman.
“I have played sports but I did not do track in junior high. I did it for one year and quit because I thought I wasn’t good. Once I got to Beatty I just tried it out to see how it was. The coach we have is good. He taught me a lot of stuff, so I became better,” Pelayo said.
Pelayo was a pleasant surprise for the coach.
“All I knew was from the kids. They told me I had a runner coming up. She came in with a large crop of freshmen mainly from Amargosa and some from Beatty. It’s a crop that will be dominant in the next coming years. We haves some great talent stepping up,” he said.
Her favorite race is the 3,200-meter race and her fastest time is 12:11.00.
Pelayo continues the Hornets tradition of having strong middle distance and long distance runners.
This year the girls in the 800 meter are Sinai Hernandez ranked number 3rd, Ashley Granados 5th and Pelayo ranked 6th.
In the 1,600 besides Pelayo, the Hornets have Granados ranked 2nd with Zuri and Ruth Pimentel ranked 5th and 6th.
In the 3,200 after Pelayo there is Ruth and Zuri at 3rd and 4th with Granados in 5th. This is where the girls have made many of their points.
Adcox said he hits teams hard on the track and then mops up with his strong hitting field eventers. He lost Melynda Gross, state champion in the long jump, but Christina Thompson has stepped up to take her place and may take this event at state. He also said his boys in pole vault, led by Orozco will be hard to beat.
Track is the most popular sport at Beatty High School with more than 50 percent of the students enrolled on the team. The team has about 50 students out for the sport. The popularity may have something to do with the recent success of the girls team, which last year captured its first state title.
With three meets left the money is running out for the Beatty Hornets track. According to Athletic Director Leo Verzilli, every meet that the team goes to costs around $300. Adcox said they do have enough to go to the last three, but donations are always welcome.
Adcox wants people to know that he is concerned that the team will not have enough money for lodging for the state finals because they will have to put the girls and boys up for a night. The team is selling popcorn to support the Hornets.
“If we compete in 10 meets, that’s almost my entire budget. We set aside $1000 for track fees, and yes Mr. Adcox spends a lot of his own money on track for water, snacks and many odds and ends. They also fund raise,” Verzilli said.