Hayden coach Kevin Kleckler once had to prod Keenan Bruchez to run the 110-meter hurdles. That seemed hard to believe Thursday, when for the third time in as many track meets, the junior set a new school record, winning the event in 16.59 seconds. The Class 2A state pre-qualifying time is 16.33.
"He's getting better," assistant coach Leif Jacobsen said.
Bruchez helped lead the boys to a first-place finish at the North Park Invitational hosted by Moffat County. The Tigers scored 100 points, tying Soroco for first.
The girls placed third behind West Grand and Soroco.
Hayden's other champion was its boys 400-meter relay team, which ran a 45.58 to win the race and pre-qualify for state. Last year, the combination of Evan Hilling, Jesse Drennan, Kenny Gehrman and Tyson Letlow took second place at the state meet.
Sophomore Brandon Ford stepped in for the injured Letlow on Thursday and helped the team pre-qualify in the team's third meet of the season. It's unknown when Letlow will return.
Individually, Hilling finished second in the 100 and 200 meters, running an 11.75 and a 23.45, respectively. He also placed second in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 10 inches.
Drennan placed third in the 100 (11.89) and fourth in the 200 (24.13). Gehrman was sixth in the 100 (12.16), giving the Tigers three of the top six spots in the 100, an obvious indication as to why they are so successful in the sprint relays.
Tyson Sweeter (discus), Jessica Varah (shot put), Amber Suits (1,600 meters) and Lauren Branstetter (200 and 400) also picked up individual second-place finishes Thursday.
The boys 1,600-meter relay team of Sweetser, Bruchez, Bark and Drennan scored an unexpected second-place result in the race, after running it for the first time all season Friday. They finished in 3:55.54. Drennan, who rarely runs 400s, turned in the fastest split time of 55 seconds.
Hayden's next meet is an all-day competition Saturday in Mee--ker.
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