It was a school record that Ignacio High School track coach Kathy Herrera said Oakley Hayes had been gunning for all season.
In Thursday's Class 2A state track preliminaries, he finally got it.
Hayes finished the 400 in 50.4 seconds, breaking a school record held by his coach's husband, Chris Herrera, and advanced to Saturday's finals at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.
"It was all sweet," Kathy Herrera said. "It may have been bittersweet for my husband, but it was sweet for me."
Hayes and fellow relay runners Ethan Pearson, Chance Wyatt and Shane Brooks will race again in Saturday's finals of the 4x400 after finishing second in their heat with a personal best of 3 minutes, 30 seconds. The top three finishers in both heats advanced.
"I can't tell you what kind of feeling it was to watch that race," said Herrera, the pride evident in her voice.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, there were a couple hiccups on Thursday, as well.
Alex Herrera, Kathy and Chris' son and a Fort Lewis College basketball signee, had a rough day in the shot put, finishing ninth.
Michelle Simmons, the lone female qualifier for Ignacio, pulled up with a cramp near the finish of the 200 prelim, dashing her hopes of running in Saturday's final.
Fortunately for both Herrera and Simmons, they qualified in multiple events. Herrera will compete in today's discus finals at 11 a.m., and Simmons will hope for better luck in Saturday's high jump finals.
With four chances at a top-three finish or better, Herrera likes her team's chances of coming away with some hardware.
"I see every possible way that that could happen," Kathy Herrera said. "I have every bit of faith that these boys and girl can be in the top three in the state in what they're competing in."