Kelly Bruchez and Alan Stark are the best throwers Kevin Kleckler has had the pleasure to coach at Hayden.
At their last meet, the April 19 Demon Invitational in Glenwood Springs, where more than 100 throwers representing 22 schools from classes 2A, 3A and 4A competed, the two 2A athletes handily won their respective events.
Last year, Bruchez missed the state track and field meet by just 1 inch in the shot put.
This year, he is already throwing 1 foot past last year's marks.
Stark, after taking a season off from throwing, is creeping up on a 35-year-old school record in the discus. There are four meets left, including the May 9 and 10 regional that finalizes the state track and field list.
Stark and Bruchez are poised to make it into the field next month.
"There are four essential elements to throwing: power, technique, emotion and speed," Kleckler said.
Stark and Bruchez have improved in each category, which translates into their better results.
Bruchez took first and Stark took second in the shot put at the 23rd annual Demon Invitational.
Bruchez threw the shot 42 feet, 9 1/4 inches, while Stark followed with a 42-4 1/2.
Stark took seventh in the discus with a 119-11.
Bruchez and Stark defeated the rest of their opposition, regardless of class, by more than 3 inches, making their first- and second-place finishes more impressive.
The classes are separated for the state meet, but they were grouped together in Glenwood. Stark was the top finisher in Class 2A in the discus.
While his discus throw of 119-11 wasn't his season's best, Stark has gotten to within 4 feet of Gordon Dowling's Hayden High School record throw of 129-10, set in 1968.
Dowling is still in town working as a surveyor.
Stark isn't the only Tiger athlete closing in on a school record.
Sophomore Evan Hilling is one-tenth of a second off the 200-meter record.
Primarily a jumper last year, Hilling didn't run in the sprint events until this season.
Kleckler admitted he was hesitant to enter Hilling into the sprint events because he just didn't think the tall, lanky leaper could be that fast.
"He's become our fastest sprinter," Kleckler said.
Hilling took fourth in the 200 meters at Glenwood, running a 24.26-second race. He also finished fourth in the high jump with a 5-8.
On the girls' side, Kleckler said several of his athletes are close to prequalifying for the state meet and may do so at the league meet May 3 in West Grand.
Kayla Kostur finished fourth at Glenwood with a 4-10 effort in the high jump.
She also finished fifth in the triple jump with a 32-2 3/4.
Lauren Branstetter and Samantha Schoeberl each placed sixth in the 400 meters and 100 meters, respectively.
Branstetter ran the 400 in 1:04.52.
Steamboat's Jessica Peters won the event in 59.67.
Schoeberl finished the 100 in 13.72. Peters also won that in 13.20.
Three of Hayden's relay teams also placed at the Demon Invitational.
The 800-meter relay team of Andrea Deepe, Justine Bedell, Branstetter and Schoeberl finished fifth in 2:02:45. The 1600-meter team of Jaclyn Etzler, Dana Schlingman, Schoeberl and Branstetter finished sixth in 4:41:34.
The 400-meter relay team of Schoeberl, Bedell, Branstetter and Etzler came in seventh in 55.60.
The 3200-meter relay team of Kim Walker, Megan Parrot, Bridget Manley and Hanna Williams set a new school record with a 14:36.85.
As a team, the boys finished the meet ninth out of 22 teams, while the girls finished 11th out of 22 teams.
"Everybody is finding their spots," Kleckler said. "I think we'll fare well at regionals and at league."