Hayden boys track reflects on record breaking weekend

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 4:09 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Hayden boys track came back to Topeka from the State Track meet in Wichita with four gold medals, and some history made.

When the relay team finished 3rd in the 2022 4x400, head coach DeJuan Gardenhire Jr. promised on Twitter that they’d finish the mission next season.

“We take pride in our sprint relays, so the 4x100, 4x400,” said Coach Gardenhire. “The 4x400 is a good way to bring the whole team together at the end of the meet to end the meet on a positive note.”

Not only did they get the gold in this year’s 4x400, they broke the 4A State record with a time of 3:20.99.

”Getting that meet record is just, I mean I literally cried,” said Coach Gardenhire. “I mean if you was to tell me before the season started if we would get the meet record, I kinda would look at you a little crazy.”

“Before the race, we were all just really nervous,” said relay runner Liam Stegman. “And then after the race it was crazy. I didn’t expect it to be honest.”

The trophy cases at Hayden needed to make some more room after this weekend, because the relay team also placed 1st in the 4x100.

“It was just really exciting,” said relay runner Jensen Schrickel. “I don’t think we expected to win both, but it was just cool to have that moment with my teammates to celebrate.”

Senior relay runner Jake Muller also ended his high school career by becoming a 2x State Champ in the 300m hurdles.

“You can’t go out any other way,” Muller said. “That’s as good as you can do, winning three gold medals my final race.”

“Winning his sophomore year, taking second in a heartbreaking way last year, I loved the way he went out on top,” Coach Gardenhire said.

Finn Dunshee, who’s still got another year ahead of him, placed 1st in the 100m dash.

“It was my first finals where I had a true shot so I was pretty nervous when I was coming into it,” Dunshee said. “Coach Gardenhire, he just gets us so hyped for it. I think that’s one of the reasons this track team has grown so much. A couple years ago we had 20 kids, and now we have 80 or 90, it’s crazy.”

The success is a culmination of a lot of hard work, and has set a new standard for the future that the younger guys are excited about.

“It means everything not only to me, but to this program, to those four runners, and I can’t be happy enough for them,” Coach Gardenhire said.