Protecting Their House: Sanchez, Weslaco High eyeing big weekend at district meet

Weslaco High runner Tony Sanchez poses during practice at Bobby Lackey Stadium on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 in Weslaco. Photo (Delcia Lopez | dlopez@themonitor.com)

WESLACO — When distance runner Juan Manzano graduated, it was a big loss for Weslaco High and teammate Tony Sanchez. Manzano is now a sophomore runner at UTRGV.

“They (Juan and Tony) both ran cross country when Juan was a junior and Tony was a freshman,” Weslaco High boys track coach Gustavo Cabrera said. “Juan was the one who would always push him and give him advice. He was almost like another coach to him.”

“Juan (Manzano) graduated after my sophomore year,” Sanchez said. “Coming into my junior year, I was by myself. My team was there, but they weren’t on the level that Manzano was. He was one of the top runners in the Valley. He was my motivation. When he left, I wanted to step up and be that person for the rest of the team.”

Sanchez competes primarily in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter races for the Panthers. After going through his first two seasons without an individual win in any race, Sanchez broke through as a junior to win the mile race at the 2018 Meet of Champions and the two-mile race at the 2018 Harlingen Relays.