Running back now running track |

Running back now running track

MCHS senior Jasen Kettle competes in 1st track season

Ben Bulkeley
Jasen Kettle, a Moffat County High School senior, poses before practice Thursday at the MCHS track. Kettle, who played football in the fall, decided to go out for the track team for the first time this year. He placed ninth with a time of 11.87 in the 100-meter dash at the March 27 Mickey Dunn Invitational in Grand Junction.
Ben Bulkeley

Between Jasen Kettle, Pablo Salcido and Braeden Sullivan, the 2009 Moffat County High School football team rushed 1,325 total yards.

Now, that trio, along with linebacker Brian Ivy, is tasked with going 100-meters at a time.

Led by Kettle, the MCHS men’s 4-by-100 relay teams may look like a defensive coordinator’s nightmare and already have a win to show for it.

And for Kettle, it’s a way to keep focused and in shape for the sport he loves.

The senior decided to put on his track shoes for the first time since he attended Craig Middle School as a way to stay in shape as he hopes to play college football in the fall.

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“I decided to because I plan on playing football next year,” he said. “I want to play at either (the University of Northern Colorado) or Mesa State.”

Kettle has heard from Western State College, but said he is holding out for either UNC or Mesa State.

“I would kind of like to get away from the cold,” he said. “Gunnison is freezing.”

It has always been about football for Kettle, he said.

“It’s always been a big part of my life,” he said. “I’ve just always loved football.

“When I was growing up, my dream was to play in the NFL, but now I just want to play again.”

Kettle led the MCHS varsity football team with 535 yards rushing, but he also injured his shoulder.

Even though the Bulldogs fell percentage points away from a playoff berth, Kettle said he never thought about hanging up his pads.

“I always thought I’d play again,” he said.

But until he hears from a college where he can be a running back, Kettle said he will focus on turning a different kind of corner.

The MCHS 4-by-100-meter team won convincingly March 5 in Grand Junction in Kettle’s debut.

“I think we’re pretty good,” Kettle said. “We have a good 100- and 200-meter team.”

At the March 27 Mickey Dunn meet in Grand Junction, Kettle set a personal best in the 100-yard dash with a time of 11.87 seconds.

The rigors of track is a stark contrast to football, Kettle said.

“It’s been pretty fun,” he said. “After you’ve finished your race, you can relax and hang out with your friends.

“It is a lot of running, but it’s not as intense. You don’t have to worry about getting tackled.”

Although the long-term picture is to play college football, Kettle said he has high hopes for the track season.

“I’d like to be able to make it to state,” he said. “It would be big. I’ve never gone in any sport, so I’d like to go at least once.”

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