By BRETT MARSHALL
INGALLS — It had been nearly two years since Stephanie Caro put on her track shoes to compete.
Admittedly nervous after the lengthy layoff, Caro, a junior at Satanta High School, put her feet on the starting blocks of the 100-meter dash Thursday evening and then was off.
Thirteen seconds later, she was across the finish line first and had beaten one of her former rivals, Minneola's Kara Minor, who was clocked in 13.3 seconds on a day that provided near perfect conditions at the Ingalls Invitational.
"I just didn't really know what to expect to be honest," Caro said. "It felt good to be out on the track again."
Caro missed her junior season due to the fact that she has flat feet and while running her freshman year, suffered severe back pains to the extent she couldn't run. The condition caused her back to be out of alignment. After a lengthy process, her family found inserts to place in her shoes to correct the physical condition. And now, she's back doing what she likes — running sprints.
"I was really wondering how I would do because it's been so long," the Satanta junior said. "The whole reason in getting the inserts is so I could run again."
Caro also competed in the long jump where she suffered a minor muscle pull in her back which resulted in her scratching from the 200 dash. She hopes to be back healthy for the dashes next Tuesday when her team competes in one of the Hi-Plains League divisional meets at Sublette where she will renew a rivalry from two years ago with Syracuse sprinter Kamie Rash.
Rash, ironically, is also coming off a season of absence due to tearing her ACL in the left knee during her junior year of basketball. Caro is looking forward to seeing her HPL competitor next week.
"She's really good, really fast," Caro said of Rash. "It will be fun to see her again and see how we do. That's the fun of competing."
Caro said she did not get a good start in her 100-meter race.
"I was one of the last out of the blocks," Caro admitted. "There's a lot of nervousness that I had and now I can move on. The best thing about today was beating the Minneola girl. It's the first time I think I've gotten her."
For Moscow's Osvaldo Granillo, it was a day to celebrate three victories — the 3,200-meter relay with teammates Raymundo Garcia, Jonathan Manriquez and Breck Roop and then claiming both the 100 and the 200 dash titles.
"All I was trying to do (in the relay) was to come out and get the lead for the team," Granillo said of his 2:05 split in his 800-meter leg. "This was our first time out so we know we've got a lot of room to improve."
The Wildcats baton team finished with a solid 8:45.55, then Granillo won his individual 200 crown in a time of 23.66 seconds.
"I could have had a better start," Granillo said of his 200 race. "But we're going to get back out there and work on that now to improve my time and technique. We want to go after the school record and want to qualify to run at state."
With little recovery time from the 200, Granillo also ran the second leg of the 1,600-meter relay just 15 minutes later. The same four runners finished second (3:46.17) to Dighton's team (3:44.29). He had won the 100 with a time of 11.66 seconds. Garcia had earlier placed second in the 800 (2:12.72).
Kinsley won the girls team competition with a total of 117 points to easily outdistance Jetmore's 83. On the boys side, Ness City scored 85 points to narrowly beat Haviland which had 82. Twelve teams competed in the boys division and 11 in the girls.
Satanta's girls also got winning efforts from Kristy Blair in the 3,200-meters (14:28.12) and Maud Bailey in the 1,600-meters (6:35.44). Moscow's Ashley Dahle captured the shot put with a throw of 32-11 3/4.
See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.