PSJA Southwest Race Walker Takes US Title

Winning the National High School Outdoor Race Walk Championship was a great featfor Geraldo Flores of Pharr and specially since he missed his flight and almostdidn't arrive on time at the Greensboro North Carolina A&T University stadium.Fortunately, he was able to get an early 6:00 AM flight out of San Antonio thefollowing day.The two time High School All-American incoming Junior at PSJA Southwest HighSchool in Pharr earned his third High School All-American award and is bringingback a beautiful first place gold ring awarded to the National champion. He iscounting his blessings since, besides almost not arriving on time, he was ableto overcome a last minute surge by Maine's top high school race walker, BenjaminKates. Geraldo had taken the lead at the beginning of the race, walking hisfirst lap in a blistering time of one minute forty-five seconds. He graduallyincreased his lead and was walking comfortably more than twenty-five metersahead when Benjamin started sprinting two hundred meters from the finishline. Benjamin caught Geraldo flat footed and came shoulder to shoulder with himone hundred meters from the finish line. Fortunatly, he had already exhaustedhis reserves and Geraldo was able to cross the finish line four seconds aheadBenjamin.This is the second time that a South Texas Walking Club member has beaten a topMaine race walker to win this championship. The first was Roberto Vergara ofEdinburg back in 2005 when he set a new high school freshman meet record of7:07 which is still in the record books. Roberto and his twin brother Ricardowere two of the top high school race walkers in the country during that time.They earned full scholarships to attend Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky fromwhich they graduated this month. Geraldo plans to to follow their footsteps andearn a full scholarship of his own.