Meridian's Stout tops field at Pulse Invite

Meridian runner picks up 400 meters with instant success.

rroberts@idahostatesman.comApril 12, 2014 

There really isn't a word that properly describes Bryson Stout's hair.

On Friday, the Meridian High senior had a portion of his long blond locks pulled back in a messy ponytail, which was incorporated into another ponytail containing two braids at the base of his neck.

"I can't even name what it is right now," he said.

Fortunately, there is a word to describe Stout when it comes to track and field.

Fast.

Stout is the reigning boys 100- and 200-meter 5A state champion with a scholarship to compete for Utah State beginning this fall.

Although he'd be a heavy favorite to win both races again this season, Stout decided to take an unexpected route his senior year.

In anticipation of his more likely role in college, Stout is focusing on excelling at the 400 meters, a race he tried a few times last season, but never with complete seriousness.

"Coaches are always trying to convince you to run a 400, and no kid ever wants to," Stout said. "… Preparing for college, I wanted to get better at the 400 and the 200."

Stout proved Friday at the third annual Pulse Invitational at Centennial High that he may be just as versatile as his ever-changing hairstyle.

The 6-foot, 195-pounder won the 400 in 49.15 seconds, which ranks as the fastest time in the state this season, according to athletic.net. He then took second in a photo finish of the 200 in 22.05 seconds, and came from behind to win the 4x400-meter relay as Meridian's anchor leg. The Warriors' winning time of 3:25.57 is the fastest time in the state. Stout still owns the top 200 time in the state this season at 21.91 seconds.

"With him getting stronger and lifting more in the offseason and running more in the offseason, the 400 became a better fit," Meridian sprints and relays coach Alena Harrell said. "It is a little bit more of a challenging event instead of just all-out speed. It is something you have to have a little bit of strategy for."

Stout did not run the 100 on Friday - which immediately follows the 400 - but said he plans to run the 400, 200 and 100 at the district meet, along with the 4x400 relay.

With little time between the gut-wrenching 400 and the 100, Stout isn't certain he'll be able to defend his title, and he's OK with that.

"Oh my gosh, it will change you, for sure," Stout said of running the 400. "But it's a lot more rewarding at the end of the race."

Stout sported a mullet during the 2013 track season and said he hasn't cut his hair since.

"I've just tried to make it fun every week, doing a different hairstyle," Stout said. "… I honestly don't know why I'm growing it out. It's just something I've been doing for a while, and you're so far into it, cutting it now would just be useless. I've already come this far."

Stout remains equally committed to his new event.

"Seeing my time coming down, it's been really encouraging," he said. "It's all I want."

PULSE HIGHLIGHTS

• The team titles at the 20-plus-school meet went to the defending state champion Eagle girls and Lake City boys.

There were 12 new state-leading marks established at the meet. Here are the rest of those performances:

• The Eagle girls 4x200 relay of Maddy Dustin, Hallie McNabb, Hailey Payne and Kylee Coffin improved on their own state-best time by winning in 1 minute, 45.06 seconds.

• The Lake City boys won the 4x200 relay in 1:28.18 and the 4x100 in 42.93.

• Eagle's Kolbi Sims took first in the girls 400 in 58.26. Sims also won the 200 in 25.82.

• Lewiston's Zion Stuffle swept the hurdle events, including a state-leading time of 38.35 seconds in the 300 hurdles.

• Bishop Kelly's Mikaela Sawyer took nearly 2 seconds off her season-best by winning the girls 300 hurdles in 44.91 seconds.

• Mountain View's Cambree Harbaugh won the triple jump with a mark of 38 feet, 11 inches.

• Capital's Marcell King claimed the top spot in the boys triple jump this year with his jump of 43 feet, 8.75 inches.

• Rocky Mountain's Adam Jones cleared 14 feet, 7 inches to win the boys pole vault, establishing the top mark in the state.

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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