Waiting: It's the hard part

Sorocco, Hayden athletes ready for state meet

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The worst part about the Class 2A State Track and Field Championships?

Waiting for it.

"It's going to be awesome," Soroco coach Gary Heide said. "We've been ready to go since Monday."

The Rams are sending nearly a dozen athletes to the state meet to compete in 12 events.

Although Soroco may not score as many points as it has in previous years because of the loss of individual champion Andy deGanahl and state champion relays, the Rams have the potential to leave a lasting impression.

"I think every one of our prelims on Friday has a good chance of advancing out," Heide said.

The only track finals Friday are the 3,200-meter relay, in which Soroco's boys will compete, and the 1,600-meter finals, in which Rams senior Kieran Corrigan will compete.

Soroco senior Kyla Schmidt and Hayden senior Keenan Bruchez will long jump in one of the Class 2A field finals Friday. Bruchez and teammate Tyson Sweetser and Soroco senior Nick Rangel also have the discus finals Friday.

Bruchez will have to juggle the discus and long-jump finals as well as the 110-meter hurdle preliminary races Friday morning. Bruchez is one of the top seeds in the hurdle race.

"It helps keep me warm," Bruchez said about running between the two other events. He did the same thing at the Region 5 meet held May 12 and 13 in Grand Junction and enjoyed positive results.

The rest of the track and field finals are Saturday at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo.

In years past, the track has gotten so hot that athletes literally threw their spikes off and dipped their feet in a children's pool at the finish line. Staying out of the sun and hydrating properly are just as important as warming up correctly when in Pueblo.

Hayden is sending four throwers to state, including freshman Holli Salazar and junior Emily Whiteman.

Holyoke's Kia Kassman has the top throw of 36 feet, 10 1/4 inches, according to heat sheets posted Wednesday by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

Hayden's Sweetser, Zathan Bark and brothers Tyson and Coy Letlow will run in the 400-meter preliminaries Friday. Byers and Wray are close to breaking the 45-second mark, and the Tigers will aim to break the 46-second mark this weekend.

All of Soroco's relays have an excellent chance of making Saturday's finals, but the Rams will have to run well to do so, particularly in the 1,600-meter relays, the meet's final races Friday.

Corrigan, Johnny DeCosta, Steve Meade and Kyle Hendrickson are seeded fifth overall and third in their heat in the 1,600-meter relay, but the top finishers in each heat and the next two fastest times make the finals. Soroco will be chasing Wray and Julesburg.

The Soroco girls are seeded seventh, which was a pleasant surprise, Heide said.

Soroco's team of Glenda Long, Sarajane Rossi, Genessa Heide and Kyle Schmidt don't think they have run to their potential this year, and Rossi has only this event to focus on at state. The team will be chasing Dolores and Rye in their heat.

Perhaps the best chance for a state title rests in the feet of Soroco's 400-meter relay team of Long, Heide, Toni Lombardi and Schmidt, which have one of the state's best times at 51.75. Corrigan is seeded third in the 1,600 and the 800, which is held Saturday.

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