Jose Granados went to the Junior Olympics, and his top-eight finish earned him All-America honors.
You might have read that before, but no, this is not a rerun. The Beatty High School senior-to-be went and did it again.
A year after coming home from North Carolina as an All-American, Granados ran the 1,500 meters in 4 minutes, 6.93 seconds to finish eighth in the 17-18-year-old division at the Hershey USA Track &Field National Junior Olympics in Sacramento, California.
Making the accomplishment a bit sweeter this time around is the division Granados ran in, as he competed in the 15-16 division last summer.
“There were some familiar faces and also some people I had never seen before,” said Granados, who was accompanied to Sacramento by his parents, his brother and his sister.
Granados was happy with his preliminary time of 4:06.75, 11th in the field, which he figured would be good enough to return to the finals.
“I was pretty satisfied,” he said. “I knew it had to be somewhere around a 4:07 to make it to the finals. It was nice and warm, perfect conditions, maybe in the 90s.”
But making that time and qualifying for the finals didn’t mean he was all that confident about repeating as an All-American.
“After looking at the other times, no,” he admitted.
But when the time came for the top eight to head to the medal stand, there was a smiling Granados in what has become a familiar pose.
One difference at this year’s Junior Olympics was the shirt on his back. Previously running with the Vegas Valley Track Club, this year was his first competing for the Nevada Track Club, which works out at Centennial High School in Las Vegas.
“This club, you have to be invited to run for them, and they invited me,” Granados said. “Humbling. Very humbling.”
Another difference this year was the travel. Sacramento is a bit closer to Amargosa Valley than Greensboro, North Carolina.
“It was a lot closer so it was a lot cheaper,” Granados said. “But I would like to thank the Stagecoach, the Beatty and Amargosa VFWs and the Beatty VFW Auxiliary for their support.”
Training this summer has been a series of alternating days of track workouts and runs, Granados explained.
“Five days a week, usually 20 miles per week,” he said. “The way my coach has it is Monday we’ll have a track workout, the following day we’ll have a recovery, 5 to 6 miles, and we alternate track workouts with recovery.”
With the high school sports season almost here, Granados soon will turn his attention to cross country, and this time he won’t be alone wearing Hornet green. Junior Alfonso Sandoval, sophomore Jovan Oseguera, sophomore Ethan Mendoza and freshman Victor Alonso have said they will join Granados on the trails this fall. If they all do, it will mark the return of cross country as a team sport at Beatty.
“You need five to enter events as a team and post team scores,” Granados explained. “This year there actually will be a team.”
And his potential teammates are no slouches. Sandoval finished fourth in the 3,200 at the Class 1A Southern Regional Championships in May (Granados won that by a whopping 1 minute, 32 seconds), while Oseguera was seventh in the 1,600 at that meet as a freshman. Mendoza ran in the Class 1A State Championships with the Hornets’ 4 x 800 relay and was on the fourth-place 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 at regionals as a freshman.
How all of that will translate on the trails is uncertain, but individually, Granados’ goal is always the same.
“Be state champion,” he said.