Kieran Corrigan is a veteran, so cool temperatures and a stiff wind aren't going to slow the Soroco High School senior.
On Saturday, Corrigan, one of the top middle distance and distance runners in Class 2A, qualified for state in the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 59.8 seconds. It was his second meet of the season.
Genessa Heide and Nick Rangel qualified for state March 25 in the 200 meters and discus, respectively.
"Kieran, again, did exceptional," Rams coach Gary Heide said. "As a matter of fact, he is definitely ahead of last year. For him, after he gets more conditioned and experienced, the leaps he makes are remarkable."
Traditionally, Corrigan turns in his best times of the season at the regional and state meets, the two most important meets of the season. If that holds true to form, Corrigan is poised for a memorable spring.
Corrigan did not run the 800 meters Saturday. Instead, he anchored the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays. The groups placed third. Corrigan teamed up with Johnny DeCosta, Peter Daley and Kyle Hendrickson in the 3,200-meter relay, finishing in 8:57.48.
"They are ahead of schedule from last year by about 30 seconds," Gary Heide said.
DeCosta, Steve Meade, Hend--rickson and Corrigan ran a 3:50.57 in the 1,600-meter relay.
"It's a relay we know we can get to state," Gary Heide said. "Kieran, in frigid cold weather, ran a 53.4 split, which just blew me away."
Hendrickson placed fourth in the open 400 meters, which also bodes well for the relay.
"He's got pretty good speed," Gary Heide said. "If you see him run, you'll see he's a natural. He looks so good on a track, and he's never been on one before."
Kyla Schmidt is no stranger to the track. Last season, as a junior, Schmidt anchored Soroco's 800-meter medley relay team to a state title.
On Saturday, she returned to competition, placing third in the 100, fourth in the 200 and fifth in the long jump. In the 400, her signature event, she was second, posting a 1:04.27.
"It's a good starting point," Gary Heide said. "It was her first run of the year. That home stretch was going to hurt anyway, let alone against the wind."
Soroco freshman Genessa Heide won the 200 for the second-straight week, finishing in 27.73. She was the only individual champion for the Rams on Saturday.
The girls are looking strong in the relay races, particularly the 400- and 1,600-meter relays, which is an encouraging sign because the squad is relatively young.
Toni Lombardi, Genessa Heide, Darcy Wisecup, Glenda Long and Sarajane Rossi, who placed second in the 800, are members of the relay teams.
Soroco returns to the track at 9 a.m. Saturday for the Eagle Valley Invitational in Gypsum.