South Gray Rebels
Familiar faces: Granillo leads Moscow's contingent of state track qualifiers
By KEVIN THOMPSON
MONTEZUMA — All that glitters isn't gold. It's gold-striped mixed in with some black and white.
When the KSHAA state track and field meet runs in Wichita next weekend, it will come with a sense of familiarity.
The highly noticeable, very visible stripes of the Moscow Wildcats will be there again, but this time with a greater contingent than the four boys that have turned the state 1A meet into their own pot of gold.
Senior Osvaldo Granillo won three sprints and anchored the winning 4x400 relay team to help the Moscow boys to a second-place finish in the 1A regional in Montezuma Friday.
Granillo is the two-time defending state champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes and will look to make it a three-peat next week.
He also won the 400-meter dash, which will be a new event for him in state.
And he and his Wildcat teammates Jonatan Manriquez and Breck Roop, along with freshman Brice Valdez, will go for Moscow's third straight gold in the 4x400 relay.
Granillo's sweep of the sprints helped lead Moscow to second place in the boys division with 65 points, behind Macksville's 99.3 points.
A deeper team, Macksville won three events and qualified 11 entries to state on its way to the regional team title.
Granillo won the 100 in 10.64 over Wyatt Slaven of South Gray, who ran a 10.90.
In the 200, he out-ran Adam Oak of Macksville 21.88 to 22.45.
And in the 400, he defeated Slaven, the defending state champion, running 50.52 to win by nearly two seconds, despite a sustained 30-mph south wind.
Strong starts and powerful finishes have been Granillo's weapons. In the 100, he broke from the pack at the 50-meter mark to cruise to the win.
In the 200, he ran a strong curve right out of the blocks and was never challenged.
And in the 400 he ran as though it were just him against the clock.
The relay team had to replace graduate Reymundo Garcia and they found the competitive person they needed in Valdez.
Manriquez ran the first leg of the 4x400 in 52.5 seconds in second place, then Roop caught the lead runner on the first turn and ran a 53.2 second leg. Valdez was caught on the back stretch, but still turned in a 57.2 leg, just two seconds out of first.
Granillo sucked up the Fowler runner in standard fashion off the first curve, then jetted to a 50.8 anchor leg and the two-second win.
Not a surprise to anybody, including coach Aaron Roop.
"As windy as it was and as strong a field as it was, we just wanted to give ourselves a chance to get to state," he said.
Granillo was running just like he always does, Roop said — full out.
"He's one of those kids that comes out every day and works hard; then goes back in the evening and works on the parachute and works on the blocks. We're very blessed with him and the other two seniors (Manriquez and Breck Roop), and we've had a great run with them," the coach said.
Moscow nearly picked up a gold in the 800 meters. Breck Roop lost on a lean at the end of that race. He found himself on the inside of lane one, unable to pass Austin Ceniti of Stafford without making contact, and he lost by .07 seconds.
"Stafford had a good runner in that race, and this wind's a real killer," Roop said after the close loss. "By the second lap, it was hard for me to catch my breath. On the last curve, the wind helped."
And getting to state was the main goal, he added.
"He knew if he tried to pass that guy, he was likely to get DQ'd," coach Roop said. "I told him I'd take a second place any day just to get into state."
Moscow also qualified its 4x400 relay team (third place); and sophomore Rigo Bustillos qualified in the shot put and discus.
On the girls' side, Moscow freshman Courtney Clark qualified with a second-place throw in the shot put, just three inches short of first place.
"I'm really proud of the way both our boys and girls competed today," coach Roop said. "Now we have to see how we get it done next week."
Slaven's two runner-up finishes were pretty good by his standards, considering how tough the regional field was. Goal one was to be sure to qualify for state, and the competitive nature of the field made him work hard, he said. Granillo and the wind made the 400 meters that much tougher.
This will be Slaven's third trip to state, and that experience will be helpful.
"It'll be tough," he said. "There's Osvaldo, a couple kids from LaCrosse. There'll be good competition."
South Gray's lone girl will be junior Dusty Watkins, who threw the discus 112-03 for second place.
After placing third in state last year, Watkins said she was focused on qualifying again, but hoping to throw beyond her normal 112-115 range.
"Next week I'm hoping to hit 120, 125," she said. "I've changed my spin a little bit and put more force into my second one. It seems to be working."
Ingalls qualified one boy in high jumper Lamontae Heady, who cleared 5-08 to take third place, beating out Rolla's lone qualifier on jumps.
Rolla's Katie Murray was the only other area girl qualifier. The freshman placed third in the high jump (4-10) and fourth place in the triple jump with a jump of 33-03.
See results in track scoreboard, Page D4.
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