Granillo leads gold rush for Wildcats
By KEVIN THOMPSON
WICHITA — They came to the state track meet with the fight of Wildcats, and Saturday they left as rich as pirates.
That's how much gold Moscow took in the boys 1A division.
Moscow's four participants defended their two relay titles, and Osvaldo Granillo added two sprint titles. The Wildcats' take of gold medals Saturday — 10.
Granillo won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes and teamed up with Raymundo Garcia, Breck Roop and Jonatan Manriquez to win the 4x400 (3:31.58) and 4x800 (8:17.67) relays, repeating their performance from last year.
As a team, they took third, just one point behind Pretty Prairie, and by the final race of the day, the thousands of fans at Cessna Stadium were able to spot the pinstriped black and gold uniforms of Moscow.
After capturing the 4x800 relay earlier in the day, and after Granillo's two gold-medal dashes, the Wildcats were set to defend their 4x400 title in the meet's final event.
Manriquez got the baton to Roop in 55 seconds and Roop ran a fast quarter, as well. But Moscow found itself in fifth place on the second handoff.
Garcia's sprint made up time and got the Wildcats into fourth place before he handed off to Granillo, about 30 meters behind the next runners.
Granillo sprinted past the second and third-place runners on the backstretch and set his sights on the leader.
Rounding the final curve, with the announcer calling his name, Granillo smoked past the Hope runner (Lucas Bird) and sprinted to the finish line before a cheering crowd.
Just like that, Moscow had its fourth gold of the day.
"I knew I couldn't start striding out because then I'd start losing my form," Granillo said. But as soon as he passed the first two runners, he started picking up speed.
"At about the 150 I started catching this guy. I said, 'I can catch this guy,' and I got him at the 100. I did the Ricky Bobby slingshot and just brought it home," he said.
"I just didn't think it was going to come to (being) that close in that last race," he added. "My guys gave me just enough to give me a chance and I did my thing — I just ran."
Granillo said the same scenario happened last year, coming from behind like that to take the title.
"We came into this being the defending champion in both relays," Roop said. "We had a target on our back and defended both of them."
Earlier in the day Moscow had a win in the other relay. Granillo ran a 1:58 first leg, tied for first at the handoff. Roop had the lead after his 2:06 leg. Manriquez ran the same time on the third leg but found himself in second.
Garcia ran his first quarter in 60 seconds and regained the lead after just 100 meters. His second leg was a full-out sprint and he held off a late charge at the end by Pretty Prairie for the first title defense by the narrowest of margins, .15 of a second.
"My goal was to get in the lead so I could know where the leader was the whole time," Garcia said. "I had to make a goal of past the finish line so I didn't stop before it, so I ran through it all out."
The time of 8:17.67 wasn't a school record, but it was three seconds faster than last year's state win.
"I knew I'd have to kick hard to keep the lead and give us a chance," Granillo said of his first leg.
Granillo won the 100-meter dash in 11.27 seconds, .13 seconds ahead of second.
"I felt like I was tightening up (after running in the first relay)," he said. "It just took a lot out of me."
Last year he finished fourth in the same event. This time around, it was much sweeter.
"I've been working on my timing. I've been practicing my burn-flow-burn phases, and that's where I got him, on the last burn (the final 40 meters)," he said in describing his win.
After crossing the line, the junior did a fist pump and broke into a wide grin.
"Gosh, it feels good winning state," he added.
Just before the final relay, he also won the 200 in 22.68.
The "golden boy" said he was confident he could win his two events and was confident in his teammates to defend the relay titles.
"I just felt so energetic today," he explained. "I've never had this much time to run all these events. I felt this sudden burst of energy. The crowd, the adrenaline just gets you going."
Garcia placed fourth (2:0and Roop seventh in the open 800 to account for Moscow's other points.
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