Believing the notion that competing is better than practicing, the Hayden track and field team took part in a rare mid-week meet Tuesday in Rangely.
Lauren Branstetter won the 400 meters, and Amber Suits won the 800 and 1,600 meters. Evan Hilling won the high jump and 100 meters. Tyson Sweetser took first in the shot put and discus. The boys also won the 400- and 800-meter relays at the small meet.
Tuesday's meet was the first time this season that Hilling, Jesse Drennan, Tyson Letlow and Kenny Gehrman, state qualifiers from last season, were able to compete as a relay team. Letlow injured himself in the season's first meet and had to withdraw from the relays. Tuesday was his first meet back, and the four won the 400-meter relay easily in 45.17 seconds. The quartet also won the 800-meter relay in 1:36.36. The next closest team was more than three seconds behind.
The first chance for Drennan, Letlow, Gehrman and Hilling to qualify for the state meet is Saturday at the Clint Wells Invitational in Craig. The meet features 17 teams of all sizes, so it should be a highly competitive day for Western Slope schools.
Running events begin at 9:20 a.m. Field events begin at 9:30 a.m.
Saturday also represents a chance for Drennan to prequalify in the triple jump. On Tuesday, he finished second with a leap of 41 feet, 9 1/2 inches, which is more than 1 foot beyond the Class 2A standard of 40-9.
Several other Hayden athletes are nearing state qualifying standards.
Branstetter's winning time of 27.66 in the 200 on Tuesday is just below the 27.41 standard. Hilling cleared 6-1 to win the high jump in Rangely, with 6-2 being good enough to earn a trip to state in Class 2A this year.
Those who miss the state-qualifying results still can earn a trip to state by finishing in the top three at the Class 2A regional meet to be held May 13 and 14 at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com