Seven El Paso track and field athletes punched their tickets to the state meet on Friday.
Franklin’s Felix Obi, Chapin’s Brandon Moss, Burges’ Keandre Bates, Parkland’s Anthony Dudley, Jefferson’s Gerardo Escapita, Mountain View’s Brian Vigil and Clint’s Cashlee Rayas all finished in the top two in their respective events on Friday, the first day of the regional meets. They earn an automatic invite to the state meet in Austin May 11-12.
“Pretty awesome,” Vigil said.
Obi, Moss and Dudley all won regional titles.
Obi, who currently holds the top mark in the country in the triple jump, cruised to a gold medal. The senior jumped 49 feet, eight inches to win by nearly three feet.
It was the first time in two meets that Obi didn’t reach 50 feet. But the Baylor signee wanted to be conservative.
“We just want to get out to state and not try anything too risky or worry about scratches,” Franklin coach Kelly Hady said.
Obi was the only qualifier in Class 5A on the first day.
In 4A, Moss blew everyone out of the water — including himself — in the long jump. The senior, who will play football at UTEP, stuck a 24-01.50, more than a foot better than his personal best.
“Everything just came together,” said Moss, who finished fourth at state in the triple jump in 2011. "I'm ecstatic."
Bates finished behind Moss at 22-03.25.
Dudley earned his first regional title and state berth with a solid 168-10 in the discus.
Escapita, a veteran of the Silver Foxes state cross country teams, managed to place in a tight race in the 3,200 meters. Escapita just missed the gold by less than a second, but won silver by less than second, too.
In 3A, Vigil also qualified in the triple jump. He was sitting in third place until his final jump of 45-7.75.
“I don’t know where that came from,” he said.
Cashlee Rayas placed second in the 3,200.