Commonwealth Journal

Local Sports

May 27, 2014

Austin Hyden wins State

Pulaski Co. senior wins Class AAA 400 meters

Lexington — Eleven days prior, Austin Hyden dominated the Class AAA Region 7 Track Championships by winning four gold medals in four separate events.

On Saturday at the Class AAA State Track & Field Championships, Austin Hyden made history in just one single event.

Hyden ran away from the rest of the field to win the 400-meter dash in a program’s best of 48.60 seconds.

Up until this spring, Hyden’s best event was he high jump and the 800-meter run. But Hyden’s speed in his leg of the 4x400-meter relay, got his coaches thinking that the 400 meters might be his best event.

“I use to be an 800-meter runner, then I started to run in the 4x400 (relay) and the coaches saw my potential at that distance,” Hyden said.  “They decided to throw me in the 400 meter race, and I started out rough because I could never hold my finish in the last 100 meters of that race. But I worked on my finish throughout the season, but I still died a little today.”

In Hyden’s mind he might have thought he died in the last 100 meters of the race, but after running away from the rest of the field around the last curve, Hyden had a little room to coast to the win.

Hyden’s  biggest competition would have came from Henry Clay’s Devonte Robinson, but Robison false started and was disqualified from the 400-meter race. However, Robinson did win a gold medal by winning the 100 meters.

“I had confidence I could beat him before he false started, but after he false started I had even more confidence because no one else out there had ran a time like he had,” Hyden stated.

Before the day began, Hyden was hoping to have a high jump gold medal. After all, he won the state indoor high jump title with a best of 6’6” clearance – which just happen to be the winning outdoor height. Hyden could only muster a 6’2 clearance on Saturday for an eighth place finish.

But Hyden redeemed himself in the 400 meters.

“Here’s why Austin Hyden is in the 400 meters,” Pulaski track coach David Evans explained.  “He was a great 800 meter runner and might have won state in the 800, but that event was killing his high jump. So we decided to switch him to the 400 meters to ease up the recovery time from the 400 to the high jump.”

“We thought today was going to be the day he would win the high jump, but he wins the 400,” Evans chuckled.

“Austin gave it his all in that 400 meter race,” Evans said. “He really wanted to run against Devonte Robinson of Henry Clay, but when (Robinson) false started Austin knew he could win the race then, and that is why he blew it off the track.”

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