8. Emily Whiteman 36-3
11. Holli Salazar 34-1
15. Billy Zehner 17:44
11. Jake Walker 11.51
14. Zathan Bark 14.24
Boys 800-meter relay
15. Hayden 1:39.53
Boys 400-meter relay
9. Hayden 45.62
Pueblo Emily Whiteman got everything she wanted from her final high school shot put throw except for four inches.
While Friday's throw of 36-3 in the finals put her just 4 inches off the school record, it still left her with an eighth-place finish, a personal best and forced her brother - who she had a bet with - to get a long overdue haircut.
"I really wanted that record, but I was pleased with it," Whiteman said. "I wasn't expecting to throw that far but now my brother has to shave his head. ... It really doesn't get any better."
Salazar, who came in with the better throw at regionals, narrowly missed the finals with a throw of 34-1.
After Whiteman's throw of 35-4 in the prelims snuck her into the ninth and final spot in the finals, she struggled with her first two throws.
But on her third and final throw, Whiteman said she figured she'd go for broke.
"It was my last throw, so I was just going to go for it and whatever happens, happens," said Whiteman, who plans on attending the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. "It was just go for it. I wasn't nervous, I was just intense. I've never felt that way before."
Unluckily, the day wasn't as kind to the rest of the Tigers.
With two of the top eight teams in the 400- and 800-meter relays, and two sprinters in the 100-meter dash, Hayden fell victim to some unfortunate circumstances.
With Jake Walker and Zathan Bark competing in both relays and the 100, the one thing that couldn't happen to Hayden did.
Bark, who usually runs the first leg of the relays, pulled his hamstring within the first 10 meters of the 100.
" I was running and I got my leg up and put it down and it just bunched up," Bark said.
With the 800-meter relay as the next event, Bark had the hamstring wrapped and tried to run, but the pain was visible, and the Hayden boys failed to qualify for today's finals.
Still with hopes of qualifying in the 400-meter relay, Billy Zehner - who finished 15th in the hurdles earlier in the day and failed to qualify for the finals - filled in for Bark on the opening leg.
"I wasn't ready for it," Zehner said. "I sat there and ran the hurdles and thought I was done. Then they told me I was racing and I was like, 'great, here we go.'"
Zehner, who hasn't ran a relay in nearly three years, helped Hayden run a personal best. Unfortunately, Hayden finished a mere 3/10 of second away from qualifying.
While the day didn't finish as Hayden planned, Whiteman's the only athlete leaving. The relay teams return all four members as well as Walker - whose 11th-place finish in the 100 wasn't good enough for finals - next year.
"If Zathan was there I'm sure we would have qualified," Zehner said. "But we're looking forward to next year and placing at state."
- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229
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