All Socorro’s Braden Mounyo needed to break the school record in the 300-meter hurdles was faster competition.

On Saturday, Mounyo obliterated Terry Rother’s 26-year-old school record with a run of 39.13 seconds at the 84th NIKE Chandler Rotary Invitational in Arizona to top Rother’s 39.43 clocking set in 1998.

Two weeks ago, Mounyo was trying to crack the 40-second barrier and running almost a second faster than that didn’t surprise Socorro boys track coach Cody Lee.

“The sky’s the limit with that kid. I was really impressed with him. Because sometimes when you take kids to big national meets, when the lights get really bright, kids will shrivel up and go out the back door,” Lee said. “Not Braden; he was dialed in right before running the 300 hurdles. I noticed the kid was so dialed in like he was on a mission, and he was there for a reason,”

It was an unusual race as Mounyo didn’t attack the first two hurdles at his usual pace.
“He got his butt kicked the first two hurdles, and then he decided he was going to run. It surprised me in the sense of how he broke 40 seconds. Every time I’ve seen kids break 40, they attack the first three hurdles and are just gone. I’ve never seen it done like that. He pretty much cruised the first two, and then he waited until he got 150 out, and then he just took off,” Lee said.

The new record follows Mounyo’s six qualifications to the state track and field championships, where he has berths in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, pole vault, and triple jump and is a member of the 4X100 and 4X400 relay teams.

Saturday’s race pushed Mounyo farther than he’s ever been tried.

“I actually had competition, and there was a dude (Rock Canyon’s Logan Heppe, 39.53) ahead of me. That pushed me. That was difference. So, I just kicked the full last 200, and I got it,” Mounyo said. “I didn’t realize what I had done. I looked up, and I thought I saw a 39.7. I didn’t realize I had broken the record until I heard coach Lee scream. I looked at it again, and it said 39.1. It’s pretty cool.”

Lee’s son, Jay, the defending Class A pole vault state champion, also made the trip out west. The sophomore cleared a personal best of 13-0, a whole foot higher than his gold medal vault at state last year.

The new personal best was a bit special after Jay Lee suffered an arm injury playing pickup basketball and has been out of a cast for less than two weeks.