Steamboat Springs The first time Soroco High School track coach Gary Heide saw his daughter Genessa Heide run a 200-meter race was Saturday --hen she won the event at the Mickey Dunn Invitational.
"I knew she was fast," Heide said.
Genessa's time of 26.94 seconds was the top time in Grand Junction, allowing the freshman sprinter to qualify for the Class 2A State Track and Field Championships.
Senior Nick Rangel qualified for state in the discus, taking fifth with a throw of 135 feet, 6 inches.
"I think that was the highlight of the meet," Gary Heide said. "He has missed state for three years. To get that pressure off for him is great."
Rangel, who traditionally fares better in the shot put, was fourth in that event with an average throw of 44 feet.
Saturday's weather conditions allowed the Rams' runners and field event athletes to perform better than expected at Stocker Stadium.
"It was such a beautiful day," Gary Heide said. "The 18 athletes who went had a great experience, since we hadn't seen a track yet. It was spring break, so 18 is about half of them, so that was great. We went down there a day early to practice."
Kieran Corrigan placed second in the 800 meters with a strong early-season time of 2:05.81. Corrigan teamed with Johnny DeCosta, Steve Meade and Kyle Hendrickson to place fifth in the 1,600-meter relay.
"Kyle Hendrickson is going to be a great surprise," Gary Heide said about the first-year runner. "When he ran the four-by-four and open 800, most kids just lose it the first time on a track. He looked strong in the final 200."
Meade, DeCosta, Hend--rickson and Kane Johnson placed seventh in the 800-meter relay.
The girls fared equally well in the relays. Toni Lombardi, Genessa Heide, Darcy Wise--cup and Amanda Wilson placed fourth in the 400-meter relay.
Lombardi, Heide, Emily Hallenbeck and Sarajane Rossi placed fifth in the 1,600-meter relay. Rossi also placed fifth in the 800-meter run.
Genessa Heide took fifth in the high jump, clearing 4 feet, 9 inches.
Gary Heide said he told his athletes not to expect every week to go so well because of weather conditions and fatigue. This early in the season, there is no tapering and not much recovery during practices.
The Rams travel to Kremm--ling for the West Grand Invitational at 9 a.m. Saturday. Steamboat and Hayden also will attend.