May 3, 2014 Updated: May 3, 2014 at 9:53 pm
Doherty track and field coach Rob Duensing had a whopper of a secret, and he couldn't keep it to himself anymore. Not a week from the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League championships and only 12 calendar boxes to cross out before the state championships.
"Kyle White," he said, grinning.
If you've never heard of the Spartans senior's name thrown around in the track and field world yet, maybe that's because he's been out since spring break with a strained hip flexor.
That, and probably because he wasn't a name to remember at last year's state meet, as his only reason for attendance was as an alternate in the 3,200-meter relay.
But on Saturday, after a year of dedication and focus, White, Doherty's secret weapon, made his presence felt as he anchored to a win the same relay he watched from the state sideline at the Spartan Invitational at Garry Berry Stadium.
Doherty's time of 8 minutes, 4.66 seconds elevated the Spartans from outside the top 10 to third in 5A, one spot and less than six seconds behind Fountain-Fort Carson and its second-fastest time of 8:00.61.
"I think I can run faster," said White, who tested his hip cautiously and ran a 2:01 split. "The coaches and my teammates think I can run a 1:55 or 1:54, and I think I can too. I know I'll need to run faster at the league meet next week to give us a shot at winning."
A time of 1:54 would be 5A's fastest time in the 800 this year.
Either way, Doherty's relay will most likely have to be even faster at the CSML finale to knock off Fountain-Fort Carson's relay, which was without two of its normal runners Saturday.
Trojans coach Ben Montoya, who said his goal in the next 12 days is to get as many kids qualified for state in as many events possible, allowed 3,200-relay frequents Dylan Day to run the 1,600 meters with fresh legs and Phillip Benjamin Thomas to try out the 400 for the first time this season.
Day moved up to 12th in the 5A 1,600 with a winning time of 4:27.16 and Thomas won the 400 in 49.58 for Fountain-Fort Carson's boys' team, which won the meet with 133 points.
"Phillip and Dylan will be back (in the 3,200 relay) next week," said Montoya, whose boys' team has won six of seven meets this season.
If White can bring his time down a couple seconds from 2:01, however, Doherty's relay may have a chance to make things interesting. At least, that's what the other three guys on the Spartans relay think.
"Having him in there today gave us a lot of confidence that we can take on anyone," said Brandon Supernaw, who ran his team's fastest split at 1:58. "We have a lot of confidence right now, and we believe we can beat Fountain-Fort Carson (in the 3,200 relay) next week. It should be a tight race."
Supernaw went on to take second in the 300 hurdles and Brad Mattison won the pole vault with a jump of 13-feet, 9-inches for Doherty, which took third with 73 points.
Sandwiched around the Spartans were Palmer (77) in second and Rampart (62) in fourth.