Soroco runner has personal best in 1,600

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Soroco sophomore Kieran Corrigan picked the perfect time to have the race of his young track life.

Corrigan shaved 20 seconds off his personal-best time to finish third in the Class 2A 1,600 meters at the regional meet Friday in Grand Junction. Corrigan's top-three finish automatically advances him to next weekend's state meet in Pueblo.

Corrigan finished in 4 minutes, 48.73 seconds. His previous best time was 5:13.

"I have no idea what happened," he said. "I was sticking with Glenn Randall." Plateau Valley's Randall is one of Colorado's premier distance runners. Instead of hanging back with the middle pack, Corrigan took off with the leaders, including Randall, who finished first at about 4:43.

"I guess it was finding the right strategy," Corrigan said. "I decided I could run with him." Unless an individual or relay has met the state pre-qualifying standard, regional competition is the last shot for state.

Besides those already qualified, Corrigan was the only state qualifier for Soroco or Hayden on Friday.

Hayden sophomore Tyson Sweetser placed seventh in the discus with a throw of 128 feet, 5 inches, but he was eyeing a top-three finish or a pre-qualifying throw of 132 feet.

"I'm pleased to place," he said. "But I wanted the 132 mark pretty bad. My throwing was off. I didn't feel like things were clicking." Hayden freshman Emily Hallenbeck came in eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 30-3 1/2.

Except for Friday's 3,200-meter relay and 1,600-meter run and several field events, the highlight of the two-day meet comes in today's event finals. Running in today's finals for Hayden are Lauren Branstetter in the 100, Branstetter and Jessica Martin in the 200 and 400, Evan Hilling in the 100, and Hilling and Tyson Letlow in the 200.

Hilling was standing at the results board after his 100-meter preliminaries and commented on the talent in today's final. All eight finalists already are pre-qualified, having run less than the 11.6 cut-off. His opinion didn't change after the 200. Hilling enters today's finals seeded second behind Soroco's Andy deGanahl.

"This region is dominant," Hilling said. "You want to come here and do the best you can." Running today's finals for the Rams are deGanahl in the 200, deGanahl, Kory Babcock and Trevor Ellis in the 400, Carl Remick in the 300-meter hurdles, Melissa Roy in the 100 and Nichole Wilson and Karli Babcock in the 200.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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