It wasn't the finish the members of Hayden's 400-meter boys relay team had hoped for, but it was good enough to help the team take second at the 2A High School State Track and Field Championships at Dutch Clark Stadium on Saturday.
The finish highlighted a strong day for the team that saw Evan Hilling place fourth in the 100-meter dash and third in the 200-meter dash.
"It's a huge disappointment that we didn't come out on top," Tiger Kenny Gehrman said. "But we are all juniors, so we will all be back next year. ... I think we have a good shot at taking first next time around."
The Tigers' disappointment may have been generated more by the team that won than their performance on the track. Telluride, a team that had become the Tiger's No.1 nemesis this season took the title with a time of 44.41 seconds. Hayden's team, which includes Jesse Drennan, Tyson Letlow, Gehrman and anchor Hilling, ran its best time of the year at 44.54 to take second. Rangely was third with a time of 54.14.
The finish would be the best of the day for Hilling, who also competed in the 100 and 200.
Hilling had hoped for a better start in the 100 than he had in the preliminaries Friday.
But it didn't happen, and Hilling said it cost him in this race.
"I kind of got off to a slow start," Hilling said. " You can't do that -- especially in the finals because there is no catching up against these guys."
Telluride's Kevin Ludwig won the race in a time of 11.08, Merino's Craig Kaiser was second at 11.33, and Custer County's Luke Smith was third at 11.35. Hilling finished at 11.39.
Still, Hilling said he was happy with the finish and thinks it will bode well for him next year.
"All of the guys who beat me were seniors," Hilling said. "So if I can make it back, I think I have a pretty good shot."
The top finishes by Hayden helped the small boys squad finish 13th in the overall team standings. Limon won the meet followed by Telluride in second.
Hayden's Lauren Branstetter was the only member of the team representing the girls side in the finals. She placed seventh in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:02.17.
Limon's Justine Sandersfeld won the race with a time of 57.45.
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