Soroco senior track star Jessie deGanahl swears her family doesn't feed her or her younger brother Andy anything out of the ordinary. She said their success must simply come from good genes.
In preliminary competition of the Class 2A and 3A State Track and Field Championships in Pueblo on Friday, Jessie deGanahl ran her way into the finals in four events.
She finished third overall in the 100-meter hurdles in a personal-best 16.4 seconds, fourth overall in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 48.14, and helped teammates to a seventh overall finish in the 4x100 relay in 52.46 and an eighth overall finish in the 4x200 relay in 1:51.55.
As the anchor in the 4x200, Jessie deGanahl found her second wind, turned on the afterburners, kicked it into high gear to come from behind and edge out a competitor at the finish line.
"There's no reason she can't dream of being on top of that podium tomorrow," Soroco track coach Gary Heide said.
While Jessie boosted the girls team, blowing past the competition, her brother, sophomore Andy deGanahl, finished first overall in the 200-meter dash in 22.83, first overall in the 400-meter race in a personal-best 49.9 -- with a couple of car lengths between him and the second place finisher -- and anchored the 4x400 relay to finish first in the heat and third overall in 3:33.72. He qualified for the finals in all three events.
When the baton was handed to Andy deGanahl for the last leg of the 4x400, Soroco was in second place, but Andy deGanahl almost immediately overtook the leading runner.
Andy deGanahl said the secret to his success was praying to God. "He's the one that made me fast in the first place, so I figured I might as well consult him," he said.
He didn't deny adrenaline helped. He said he had a huge rush before his first race, the 400-meter dash.
"At a big meet like this, adrenaline can help you do more than you normally can," Andy said.
Teammates in the 4x400 Trevor Ellis, C.J. Remick and Kory Babock said finishing first in the heat was a huge confidence booster. "We didn't think we'd be that close to the rest of the schools," Remick said.
With the help of Jessie's senior leadership, sophomore teammates Nicole Wilson, Lindsay Ellis, Karli Babock and Melissa Roy ran personal records, qualifying for final competition in the 4x100 and the 4x200 relays. "I told them there's no one out here you can't compete with," Heide said. "In the 4x200, they took two seconds off last week's time, and they took six seconds off from two weeks ago. Heck, maybe they'll run faster tomorrow."
The girls didn't fare so well in the 800-meter medley, finishing 13th overall in 1:59.21.
"We were really nervous," Karli Babock said. "I think we could've done better, but we definitely did our best." "Anything can happen tomorrow," Heide said.