Ram girls run to league crown

Soroco team title snaps West Grand's 9-year reign

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The Soroco girls track and field team trailed West Grand by 12 points with four events left in Saturday's Western Slope League meet.

Not only did the Rams catch the host Mustangs, but they also passed them by, winning the league title with 150 points. West Grand finished second with 133.5 points.

It was the first time West Grand has not won the girls league crown in nine years.

"I guess what I'm so amazed at is that every single one of them did what she was supposed to do," Soroco coach Gary Heide said. "No one slipped up. Everybody went out and performed."

On Saturday, West Grand started with an 18-point lead because of great pole vault results. Soroco does not compete in the pole vault.

Senior Kyla Schmidt won the 400 meters in 1 minute, 2.21 seconds. Sarajane Rossi won the 800 in 2:43.29. Genessa Heide won the high jump, clearing 4 feet, 8 inches.

Genessa Heide also picked up three second-place finishes in the 100, 200 and triple jump. The freshman sprinter qualified for state in the 100, finishing in 13.18. The state qualifying time was 13.46, which Schmidt just missed, finishing fourth in 13.47. Schmidt also placed second in the long jump.

To win a league title, Soroco's girls needed to score in as many events as possible. An athlete can compete in a maximum of four events, and the top eight placers score points, so Gary Heide mixed and matched in an effort to put athletes where he thought they'd score.

The quartet of Toni Lombardi, Jamie Glawe, Darcy Wisecup and Rossi finished second in the 1,600-meter relay. Jenny Block, Traci Schlegel, Wisecup and Lombardi finished second in the 800-meter relay.

The Rams also picked up a second-place finish in the 3,200-meter relay. The team of Glenda Long, Emily Hallenbeck, Beth Strait and Rossi turned in an 11:09.98.

"That is the best time in the 4-by-8 since I've been here," Gary Heide said.

The Rams distanced themselves from the Mustangs in the hurdle events and in the number of points they scored for finishing fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth in events.

Wisecup finished third in the 100 and 300 hurdles, running a 52.98 in the 300 hurdles.

"She is just turning into such a strong hurdler," Gary Heide said. "She took more than two seconds off her best time. She got right in there and split two West Grand girls."

Amanda Wilson was fourth in the 100-meter hurdles, and Schlegel was seventh and Lombardi was eighth in the 300 hurdles.

Shot put throwers Allie Glawe and Gina Werremeyer stepped in to run the 3,200 to help the Rams score points. Glawe placed seventh, and Werremeyer was eighth.

"It was awesome," Gary Heide said. "The girls wanted to do it. There wasn't one particular individual who won this. It was everybody came in here and knew what they had to do and went out and did it or did it better. This was a team victory."

In recent years, the boys have overshadowed the girls in numbers and in results, so Saturday's team title was important for the veterans, Gary Heide said.

"I just felt if you have a chance to win then you have to step up and try and put everything into it," he said. "I'd really like to congratulate West Grand. I have so much respect for those coaches there. For us to compete with them is a bonus."

Up next for Soroco is the Region 5 meet all day Friday and Saturday at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. Joining the Rams in the Class 2A field are Coal Ridge, Crested Butte, DeBeque, Dolores, Dove Creek, Grand Valley, Hayden, Mancos, Meeker, North Park, Norwood, Nucla, Ouray, Paonia, Plateau Valley, Rangely, Ridgway, Telluride, Vail Christian and West Grand.

The top three finishers in each event qualify for the Class 2A State Track and Field Championships on May 19 and 20 at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo.

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