Branstetter, Sweetser pick up titles |

Branstetter, Sweetser pick up titles

Melinda Mawdsley

Three days after teammate Evan Hilling won four individual events in Minturn, Lauren Branstetter nearly pulled off an identical feat in Rangely.

Tuesday, the Hayden junior won the 100, 200 and 400 meters and took third in the 800, as the girls finished third in the Panther Open in Rangely.

Branstetter finished the 100 in a personal-best 13.06 seconds to win. She ran a 28.13 in the 200 and a 63.45 in the 400. Her third-place time in the 800 was 2:56.80.

Teammate Jessica Martin was right behind Branstetter in three of the four races, taking fourth in the 100 in 13.70, third in the 200 in 28.77 and second in the 400 in 66.86. Martin also placed fourth in the long jump, leaping 14 feet, 3 inches.

“She’s doing well,” coach Kevin Kleckler said of Martin. “She’s a freshman.”

Senior Jana Denker also placed in four events, taking fourth in the 800 in 2:57.55, fifth in the 400 in 73.64 and eighth in the 100 in 14.53. She teamed up with freshmen Emily Hallenbeck and Jessica Newberry and sophomore Amber Suits to take fourth in the 1,600-meter relay in 5:08.31.

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Senior Andrea Deepe placed in four events, as well, taking sixth in the triple jump with a jump of 29-7 3/4 and sixth in the shot put with a throw of 31-1. In her running events, Deepe placed seventh in the 300-meter hurdles in 55.74 and placed eighth in the 100 hurdles in 18.18.

Junior Margie Jones was sixth in the discus with a throw of 80-7 1/2 and eighth in the discus in 29-8 1/2. Hallenbeck placed in both her field events, jumping 29-3 3/4 for eighth in the triple jump and clearing 4-2 to take sixth in the high jump.

Newberry finished seventh in the shot with a throw of 29-11 to wrap up the scoring for Hayden’s girls.

Rangely won the meet for the girls. Duchesne, Utah, picked up the boys’ title that Kleckler had hoped the Tigers would win. The absence of several key athletes, however, hurt Hayden’s chances.

Juniors Cam Whiteman and Kenny Gehrman traveled to Rangely but did not compete.

Junior Evan Hilling, a usual placer in four events, only ran the 100 and took second in 11.45.

Injuries prevented the Tigers from running the 400- and 800-meter relays yet again Tuesday, but Kleckler is hopeful that Hayden, which has qualified for state in the 400-meter relay, can compete in both events Saturday in Craig.

Without several teammates, the rest of the Tigers had to step up; nine different athletes helped Hayden finish fourth out of eighth teams.

Sophomores Tyson Sweetser and Keenan Bruchez scored big points for the Tigers in the throwing events. Sweetser won the shot with a throw of 41-1 and took second in the discus with a throw of 124-5. Bruchez was third in the discus, throwing 112-1/4 and fourth in the shot at 36-11 1/2.

Bruchez also placed eighth in the 110-meter hurdles in 18.07.

Without his relay events, junior Jesse Drennan took second in the 400 in 55.06, third in the 200 in 24.18 and fourth in the 100 in 11.47. Drennan also placed fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 38-9.

Sophomore Tyson Letlow, the fourth member of the sprint relays with Drennan, Gehrman and Hilling, was fifth in the 400 in 56.74 and seventh in the 200 in 24.78.

The 1,600-meter relay team of freshmen Jeff Bray, Brandon Ford, Robert Culver and Tucker Overstreet placed sixth in 4:09.08.

Ford and Bray also placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the triple jump. Ford jumped 33-3, while Bray jumped 31-4 3/4.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail