Sweetser sets new shot put record
Hayden fares wellin Moffat County
April 13, 2006
The large aviator sunglasses hid Tyson Sweetser’s eyes, but they couldn’t hide the Hayden High School senior’s excitement.
His shot put throw of 47 feet, 3 inches easily won Thursday’s Hayden Invitational, but the mark also set a school record, eclipsing the previous mark of 46-11 set by Cody Sweetser — Tyson’s father — in 1982.
Cody Sweetser watched his son set the new mark from the grassy ridge above the shot put ring at Moffat County High School, host site for the Hayden Invitational.
“I wanted it pretty bad,” Tyson Sweetser said about the record.
Sweetser almost set the record at the first meet of the year in West Grand, so he was optimistic he would surpass the 47-foot mark this season.
Now, Sweetser wants to rectify his problems in the discus, an event in which he traditionally excels. Throwing coach Leif Jacobsen has moved to Alaska, and Sweet-ser misses Jacobsen’s advice.
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“Practicing disc has been rough this year,” Sweetser said. “My dad threw disc in college, so he can help me, but he works, so that means I’m coming out after practice to throw.”
Teammate Keenan Bruchez has qualified for state in the discus, setting a personal record in West Grand, but this season has gotten off to a slower start for Sweetser.
“Everything’s been going great in shot,” he said. “It’s not quite as technical as the disc. There’s not as much finesse.”
The shot put and discus are two of the Tigers’ best events, with a long line of state qualifiers and placers, including Bruchez and Tyson Sweetser. Distance running, on the other hand, is not Hayden’s strong suit.
A town full of sprinters, jumpers and throwers, Hayden has a young distance runner trying to turn things around.
Freshman Laura Zirkle is competing in her first year of varsity track, so competition is relatively new to her.
The experience she gained as part of the Moffat County cross country team has been beneficial, but she still is learning what it means to be a Tiger.
On Thursday, Zirkle placed second in the 3,200 meters and fourth in the 1,600, and she also ran the open 400. She also placed third out of 27 runners in the 3,200 on Saturday in Eagle Valley.
“I was so excited to get third at Eagle Valley,” Zirkle said. “It was the second time I’ve ever run the 3,200. We lined up, and there were 27 girls, but I told myself, ‘I’m ready for this. I’ve experienced a crowd.'”
Zirkle wants to qualify for state in the 1,600 and 3,200 races, but she doesn’t know much about her competition.
“I’m doing better in the 3,200,” she said. “The longer I go, I can be more steady.”
Hayden competes at the Meeker Invitational on Saturday.