McGruder, Braiden top point getters at Bethany


By Michael Kinney

The 57th Annual Bethany High School Invitational is scored just a little differently than most track meets in Oklahoma.

Instead of trying to find the top team at the event, meets officials were looking for the top individual point getter in the meet. This year it was Tecumseh's Kayla McGruder and Elk City's Scott Braiden.

Braiden posted 20 points April 20 to win the boys division. That was just two more points than five other competitors that included Tyler Cobb (Bethany), Matt Higdon (Tecumseh), Clayton Rackley (Tecumseh), Carson Sandvick (Bethany) and Randy Ilechukwu (Bishop McGuiness).

Braiden earned 10 points by winning the 400 meter dash with a time of 51.38. That was enough to hold off Rackley, who was runner up in the event.

Braiden easily won the long jump with a leap of 21 inches. That was two more inches than James Brayden of Tecumseh.

On the girls' side, McGruder had the highest point total of the day. The junior tallied 28 points. She beat out Bethany's Sylvia Lambert by four points.

McGruder was first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:29.59. She also grabbed the top spot in the 400-meter dash.

McGruder finished three seconds behind Chandler Kessler in the 1600 meter run or she would have ended the day with three first place titles.

Other strong outings included Bailey Christiansen. The senior from Bishop McGuiness took home first in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles.

Newcastle's Austin Pine earned the girls high jump title after clearing 5-feet.  Freshman Emily Hall of Tecumseh claimed the girls shot put with a throw of 33-feet-08.

Elk City took both the boys and girls 4x100 relays and the boys 4x400 relay.