Finally, some competition.
The Soroco girls relay teams rarely find a challenge against Class 2A league opponents, so the Rams welcome the opportunity to run against the large schools in the Western Slope.
On Saturday, the quartet of Melissa Roy, Nichole Wilson, Kyla Schmidt and Karli Babcock finished second in their top relays -- the 400, 800 and 800-meter medleys -- and seemed appreciative of the chance to race instead of just run.
"We need the competition," Wilson said. "It pushes us, especially running against the Steamboat team."
Wilson and Roy wanted to make sure they didn't come across as overconfident, but previous results back up their statements.
Steamboat handily won the 800-meter medley, but the Rams hung with the Sailors in the 800-meter relay and were right behind Rifle in the 400-meter relay.
On a day like Saturday -- off-and-on rain with temperatures in the high 30s -- times took a distant second to simply staying warm. Still, the Soroco 1,600-meter relay team of Babcock, Schmidt, Glenda Long and Toni Lombardi finished second in 4 minutes, 31.46 seconds to break the school record in the meet's last event.
The previous mark was 4:34.28.
Several other Rams runners were able to push through the weather and post personal best times. Tony Iacovetto prequalified for the state meet in the 200 with a 23.16, which he ran in the 200 preliminary heat, joining teammate Andy deGanahl in the state 200 field.
Both have legitimate chances of placing May 21. Iacovetto went on to finish second in the finals in 23.68, but the wind had picked up slightly by the final four events.
Junior Kieran Corrigan continues his impressive season in the middle-distance and distance events. On Saturday, he ran a season-best 4:53.48 in the 1,600 to take sixth in a deep field. He also ran a 2:10.5, a personal best in the individual 800 meters.
"My times, compared to last year, are a lot better," he said. "Now, I know regionals last year wasn't a fluke."
Corrigan ran his personal best in the 1,600 last year to qualify as somewhat of a surprise, but he took advantage of Saturday's larger field to challenge himself.
Corrigan added that his decision to compete for Steamboat during cross-country season has helped him, as well, particularly mentally.
"That's 3.1 miles" he said about cross country. "If I can keep the pace the whole time during that, I can run these events."
Soroco's next meet is the Western Slope League meet next Saturday in Kremmling. It's also a state-prequalifier, so the Rams are hoping for better weather than they received in Craig. Soroco is eyeing the chance to defend its regional championship on the boys' side, and the stiffest competition likely will be Hayden.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org