Raul Garcia | rgarcia@themonitor.com Runners participate in a pre-season track meet in Mercedes.

MERCEDES — The heat was on soon after the sound of the starting gun at the Mercedes track and field dual meet against Progreso.

The two teams went toe-to-toe in several events to gauge where they measure up heading into the season

The season officially kicks off the first week of February.

“We’re just getting started and we wanted to see where everyone is at,” Mercedes head coach Pete Martinez said.

The meet started with the one-mile race. It pitted state cross country qualifiers from both squads.

Mercedes’ Guadalupe Reyes finished 75th overall in Class 6A at the state cross country meet. Progreso’s Jonathan Vega, Alex Pecina and Gerardo Gallardo were part of the Red Ants’ state championship cross country team in Class 4A.

The runners didn’t waste any time breaking out of the starting line at the sound of the gun.

And just a few minutes later, Reyes finished the mile race in 4 minutes and 45 seconds, followed by Vega at 4 minutes and 54 seconds.

“In the first event I wanted to go for a 4:40 pace. I took off really fast and I just kept telling myself don’t let anybody catch you,” Reyes said.

Other than Reyes’ teammate, Isaiah Hernandez, who finished third, the only other runner close behind was Vega, who finished second in the heat.

“Lupe (Reyes) went out fast, and he hung on to the lead,” Vega said. “It feels good to get back on the track, and the challenge opened up my eyes that I need to get on ball.”

In the field events, Progreso displayed some big jumps at the meet leading with Luis Garcia’s 45 feet and 8 inches triple jump, besting his personal record of 43 feet 3 inches he marked at the Meet of Champions last season.

“The boys have been working hard and we are excited to see to see what we can do in the season,” Progreso head coach Ivan Gonzalez said. “At this point I’m pretty impressed on what I see coming off the preseason. We still have about three and half weeks to sharpen everything up before our first meet February 7.”

Mercedes High will be the site of the District 32-5A meet scheduled March 31, and area meet slated April 16.