Striking gold: Moscow's Granillo sweeps 1A sprints
By KEVIN THOMPSON
WICHITA — The last Saturday in May at the state track meet in Wichita has had its share of memories over the years.
The same can be said for the 2012 version at Cessna Stadium, where the Moscow boys left their mark.
Osvaldo Granillo left memories as indelible as Moscow's pin-striped, nameless, logo-less jerseys as he swept the 1A sprints — one in record-setting time — to add to his career gold medal count.
Granillo claimed three individual gold medals on Saturday to finish his career with 10.
The Wildcat with the Midas touch won the 400 meters for the first time with relative ease, defended his 100 meters in record-setting time, and prevailed in the 200 meters for the third straight year by the smallest of margins.
As Granillo out-leaned Levi Morss of LaCrosse in the 200, the stadium's giant scoreboard showed both runners clocking in at 22.54 seconds, but the computer picked out Granillo as the winner by just .005 seconds.
"We had just been working on doing sprints downhill, and I got told I was going to have to lean last second. It was going to come down to those point-0's, and it did," he said of the photo finish. "My legs were so tired, I about lost them and fell on my face."
Earlier in the afternoon, Granillo out-raced Morss in the 100 meters by 0.16 seconds, setting a 1A state record of 10.67, breaking the old mark of 10.80.
"I was running in the 11's all last year, but as soon as I busted into the 10.6's five or six times, I thought the record was possible," Granillo said.
"I've wanted this race. It's so hard when you have a target on your back," he said. "I've worked and worked on my arms and leg driving. It was great today."
Between those wins, Granillo won the 400 meters in his first try in 50.26, far enough ahead of Morss to save some energy for his other two finals.
"Coach (Aaron Roop) has been emphasizing that all year," Granillo said. "About the 150, I looked back, didn't see anybody and just started coasting from there. My first 200 meters is what got me ahead. I kept looking back at the end, and if they started gaining, I was just going to kick it."
Granillo also anchored the Wildcats' 4x400 relay team, which he had done twice previously to gold medals with Breck Roop and Jonatan Manriquez, but this time without graduated Reymundo Garcia. He overtook four runners on the last leg to get the Wildcats a third-place medal.
Coming away from the meet as the undisputed sprint champion of 1A is a great feeling, Granillo said.
"I had about a week's worth of sleepless nights after regionals. I knew what it was going to take, and I knew how fast these boys were," he said. "Having a target on your back is one of the most nerve-racking deals to go through."
His only losses of the season were to Morss at Jetmore earlier in the season, and redemption was part of his motivation in this meet.
"That's what motivated me all year. He's the only one who beat me, so I give him props. He's a great runner," Granillo said.
Roop also medaled in the 800 meters, taking seventh.
As a team, Moscow tied for fourth, a point out of second.
For coach Roop, Saturday's end was "sad-happy," he said.
"The boys gave a great effort. There's nothing more they could have done," he said.
Losing Garcia last year, and Granillo, Roop and Manriquez this year will be tough, but he said they were a great group to work with.
"When we started working with them as freshmen, we just had the dream. Actually, it didn't start as a dream. It just came together their sophomore year, when they started running the relays. They've had a great run," coach Roop said.
Granillo's 10 gold medals and Roop's and Manriquez's four are testaments to their efforts, coach Roop added.
"Oswaldo, the type of kid he is, he let up a bit on the 400 so he'd have a little left in the 200, and he knew he'd have to give it everything he had in the 4x400," he said. "A record for him today — he deserves it."
Granillo works on his own, doing anything extra for what it takes, such as his starts and his finishes.
"Obviously he wanted to get back at (Morss) after he lost to him, and I think he proved it. There's no doubt in (Cessna Stadium) that he's the fastest kid in 1A," coach Roop said.
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