There was no beating Soroco sprinter Andy deGanahl on Saturday at the Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo.
He collected four state titles in four events, including repeats in the 200- and 400-meter dashes. He also came within a heartbeat of setting a new state record in the 200, in which he finished at 22.52 seconds. But the state record is safe for at least one more year at 22.24.
With everything the junior runner accomplished, however, he said his crowning moment came as part of the Ram's 1,600-meter relay team, which won the title in the final event Saturday.
"This is the event that we've been looking forward to all year," deGanahl said. "I wouldn't trade this title -- or this moment -- for anything."
The Rams took the lead early and then held off a late run by Haxtun, Limon and Del Norte to win the title with a time of 3:28.33. Haxtun took second, and Limon was third.
"We started talking about this event during football season," Kory Babcock said. "That's when we first started talking about who was going to run on our 1,600-meter relay team and just how good we could be."
This spring, the school's two best 400 runners -- Babcock and deGanahl -- formed the foundation for the team. Trevor Ellis, who runs the opening leg, joined the mix as did Carl Remick who completes the team in the No. 3 slot. Babcock and Ellis are seniors.
"I couldn't be happier," Ellis said after the race. "Kory and I both had great races. Every aspect of the race was beautiful."
It was a beautiful ending to a great day for deGanahl, who proved to be unbeatable in the heat of Pueblo.
Along with Ellis, Babcock, and Tony Iacovetto, deGanahl won his first title of the day in the boys 800-meter relay.
The squad improved on its personal best time, set Friday in the preliminaries at 1:31.98, by finishing the final with a time of 1:31.90. That topped second-place finisher Limon at 1:31.83 and third-place Haxtun at 1:33.97.
Between the two relays, deGanahl also picked up titles in the 200 and 400.
He beat Custer County's Luke Smith, who finished at 22.81 in the 200. Hayden's Evan Hilling finished third at 23.13.
In the 400, deGanahl set the pace with a time of 49.19. Telluride's Dillon Bosch was second at 50.31, and Soroco's Babcock was third.
Those finishes, along with a ninth in the triple jump by Babcock, helped the Soroco boys move up to third in the team standings behind first place Limon and second place Telluride.
Despite not earning the coveted state title, it also was a good day for the Soroco girls team of Melissa Roy, Nichole Wilson, Kyla Schmidt and Karli Babcock.
The girls relay team finished second in the 400 and 800. The team was fourth in the 800 sprint medley relay.
"There is a little disappointment," Wilson said of not winning a title after her team ran its final relay of the day. "But we ran amazingly well. I don't think that we could have done anything different."
The Rams finished second to Limon in that race with a time of 52.30. Limon finished at 52.19 to win the crown.
The Rams also finished second in the 800-meter relay with a time of 1:48.86. Holyoke won that race with a time of 1:47.96.
"We weren't that far behind them," Roy said. "But next year, I tell you what, we will be there."
The girls finished 10th in the team standings. The meet was won by Limon, who beat out Akron by a single point.
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