Dodge City High long distance runner Oscar Carmona thinks of running like someone who is a very good chess player: he has to know when to make his move to finish ahead of his opponents.
"Each race is different," Carmona said. "The guy in the 1,600 slowed down the pace and I realized that so I have to pick up the pace. You have to have a good strategy to go into a race and even have to change it during the race."
Carmona had to run three different styles of races Thursday in claiming the Western Athletic Conference 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs at Memorial Stadium. Carmona won the 1,600 and 3,200 last season.
The junior stayed behind his opponent until the final 10 yards to win the 800 in a time of 1:57.63. In the 1,600, Carmona took the lead just at the start of the second lap and coasted to the victory (4:25.62); then led for most of the race until the start of the seventh lap before kicking a sprint in the last 50 yards to win the 3,200 (9:57.44).
Carmona won three of the four individual events for the Red Demons, who finished fourth in the team standings with 59 points.
Bryce Sonday won the discus throw by eight feet (166-8) and also finished third in the shot put (51-4 1/2).
"Oscar has definitely stepped into a leadership role, not only by winning those events, but also coming back to race in a relay right after the 3,200," said Dodge City track head coach Dave Foster. "Bryce just has been so consistent all year and our and Bryce's expectation isn't just to compete in the discus for another state title, but to compete in shot as well."
Other individual who finished in the top three include Blaik Middleton (100, 11.42, third), Elder Colindres (1,600, 4:31.53, third), Tyler Trent (long jump, 21-6 1/2, third), and Tanner Flax (javelin, 155-0, third).
Hays won the team title with 113 points, followed by Liberal (98), Garden City (65), the Red Demons and Great Bend (40).
"There are no weak sisters in this conference and is very tough to get points," Foster said. "Hays will probably win the Class 5A state title in a couple of weeks and showed they were the class of the league; but the way the points were going from second through fifth showed what advantages each team has."