The Soroco boys track and field team surprised few people when it won the Western Slope League championship running away.
The Rams scored a staggering 142 points; runner-up West Grand scored 98. Soroco scored in every event but the pole vault, and the way the season is going, if coach Gary Heide had handed someone a pole and told him to compete for the first time, the Rams probably would have scored in that, too.
"It really was a team effort," Heide said. "We equaled or scored more points in every event than I expected. ... I thought if things worked out, we had a shot to win. I don't think they figured we'd dominate."
Soroco placed in everything from the 100-meter dash to the discus at Saturday's league meet in Kremmling.
But what pleased Heide the most was the sacrifices many of the boys made by competing in events they don't typically enter just to score points for the team.
Brandon Allen and Matt Cartas dropped or added events to help out. Nick Rangel turned in personal bests in his two throwing events. Kieran Corrigan committed the ultimate selfless act by running the maximum distance possible at a meet -- 6,400 meters.
"Everybody stepped up," Heide said.
Andy deGanahl picked up four regional championships, winning the 100 in 11.53 seconds, the 200 in 23.25 and the 400 in 50.04. He also teamed with Trevor Ellis, Tony Iacovetto and Cartas to win the 800-meter relay in a state-qualifying time of 1:34.52. The Rams previously qualified for the relay event with Kory Babcock.
Babcock accomplished one of his goals by pre-qualifying for state in the triple jump by leaping 41 feet, 7 inches to place second Saturday. Babcock also pre-qualified for state in the long jump with an effort of 20-5 to win, but he already is headed to state in the 400 meters, the triple jump, the 800-meter relay and the 1,600-meter relay. He isn't allowed to compete in more than four events.
Soroco also received a pre-qualifying state time from the girls 400-meter relay team of Melissa Roy, Nichole Wilson, Kyla Schmidt and Karli Babcock. The quartet ran a 52.29 to set a school and Western Slope League record.
"From what I've seen in the state, that is a very fast time," Heide said. "And I thought we had one very slow handoff."
The quartet also finished first in the 800-meter relay in 1:52.55.
Soroco had a slew of other impressive finishes, perhaps none more than the final of the 400 meters when Ram runners crossed the line in first, second and third. Following deGanahl was Babcock in 50.7 and Ellis in 54.05.
"Boy, did Kory look good," Heide said. "And Trevor, we were psyched about him. He wants to go faster, and I don't blame him."
Babcock also placed first in the 800 meters in 2:11.
Picking up a second-place finish for the Rams was Rangel in the shot put with a throw of 40-9. He placed sixth in the discus with a throw of 115-10. The 1,600-meter relay team of Ellis, Carl Remick, Allen and Steve Meade took second in 3:50.
Cartas placed third in the high jump, clearing 5-8 and finished sixth in the long jump, leaping
Remick ran a personal-best time of 44.56 to take third in the 300-meter hurdles, and the 400-meter relay team of Ellis, Cartas, Rangel and Iacovetto ran a season-best time of 46.83.
Hayden won that event in a league-record time of 45.1.
Iacovetto also picked up fourth in the 200 in 25.13.
Corrigan took fifth in both the 1,600 and the 3,200 meters. His time of 5:13 in the 1,600 was a personal record. Corrigan teamed up with Allen, Lucas Sullivan and Johnny de Costa to place fifth in the 3,200-meter relay in 10:10.
Meade was seventh after clearing 5-6 in the high jump, and Corrigan placed eighth in the 800 in 2:23.
For the girls, who finished seventh, Schmidt placed second in the long jump with a 15-4 effort. She also was third in the 400 in 63.8, while Wilson placed third in the 200 in 29.2
The Rams' 1,600-meter team of Leah Hendrickson, Jenny Block, Allie Glawe and Toni Lombardi was third in 4:55.
Roy placed fourth in the 100 in 14.04. Colleen Treanor placed fourth in the 1,600 in 6:48 and came in fifth in the 3,200 meters. The sprint medley team of Roy, Wilson, Babcock and Hendrickson was fourth in 2:04.5.
Soroco next travels to the two-day regional meet at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. Events begin at 9 a.m. Friday and resume at 8 a.m. Saturday. For those individuals or relays that have not already qualified for state, this weekend is the last chance.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com