WORDEN — Brad Graves is the best high school hurdler in the state for two reasons: his immense talent and the immense talent of teammate Chris Hust.
“It’s a huge plus, because every single day in practice we’re running with each other, helping each other get better,” Graves told MTN Sports during a recent meet.
Hust concurs on what makes these two tick.
“Being able to keep up with him and trying to push myself to get those times down,” he said. “And then Brad, having me behind him to push him the whole way.”
The Huntley Project seniors are top three in both Class B hurdles races this year, with Graves the defending 110-meter champion. That’s his specialty.
“I think Brad has gotten a little bit better in the 110s maybe than Chris,” offered Red Devils coach Wes Lindeen. “He’s put in a lot of extra time in that. Chris has some success in 300s.”
In fact, Hust has the better lifetime personal record (PR) in the 300-meeter hurdles, running it in 39.88 seconds last season.
“That’s one of the events I have leverage over Brad because my stamina is a little better,” Hust said. “But we’re still right neck and neck with each other.”
“If I didn’t have him to try and make me better, I’d probably be like, ‘Whatever, I don’t really care,'” admitted Graves. “But with him, I have to really work at them.”
Their competition fuels the fire, but at the end of the day, the two are best friends and teammates for a greater good — the Red Devils have eyes on a state team title this year.
“Really helps our team, because we can kick off the day with 18 points” Graves smiled. “That’s a nice little boost.”
“Me and Brad have taken it to heart, being one of the top two athletes in Class B, being able to do that,” said Hust.
The only question at most meets is, which one will be first? And it’s not always easy to tell.
“They get mistaken a lot for one another,” Lindeen said. “They both have that same build and they look very similar.”
Lindeen doesn’t mind. He knows lots of points are coming his team’s way.