Hayden steps up | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden steps up

Throwers make mark in Craig

Dave Shively

— The Hayden Tigers roared Friday at the Clint Wells Invitational track meet at Moffat County High School, making a proud showing against much larger schools from across the Western Slope.

Hayden’s throwers made the most competitive impact; senior Tyson Sweetser took second place in the discus with a throw of 150 feet, 7 inches — long enough to qualify him for the state meet May 19 and 20 in Pueblo. Sweetser also took fourth place in shot put.

Fellow senior thrower Keenan Bruchez, who qualified for state earlier this season, placed sixth in discus.

Junior Emily Whiteman had the strongest showing on Hayden’s girls team among discus throwers, breaking a school record at 104 feet, 3 1/2 inches, earning her a fifth-place finish overall. She also placed fifth in the shot put.

“My first two throws weren’t so good, and I got really mad and threw it farther. I’m glad to even place at other meets where there’s only eight teams of other 2A schools — there’s 19 teams here from really big schools,” Whiteman said.

“I was impressed; she just had a stellar performance,” Hayden coach Kevin Kleckler said.

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Bruchez led the way for Hayden’s runners with a second-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles at 16.40 seconds.

“He’s a phenomenal athlete with a phenomenal work ethic. He works hard in the weight room, and he’s really stepped up. Quarterback of the football team, he’s a great student, too, headed to School of Mines next year,” Kleckler said.

Despite the impressive race, Bruchez knows he is capable of even faster times.

“I didn’t feel right; I usually run it a full second faster,” Bruchez said, who is seeded second in boy’s 2A 110-meter hurdles.

The brightest moment for Hayden’s female sprinters came early on, during the first race of the meet at the 800-meter medley.

Anchored by junior Jessica Martin, the otherwise all-freshman medley finished second in their heat and third overall with a time of 2:04.41.

“That was awesome. The ad—-renaline was really rushing, I was third when I got the baton, and I wanted to beat that girl from Moffat, and I passed her and did. Basalt won, but I really like running against them, because they push us,” Martin said.

After some shuffling of the relay squad in previous meets, Martin hopes this combination will carry the team into regionals, May 12 and 13 in Grand Junction.