Bruce Sweeney was one of Idaho’s top track and field athletes in the 1950s. Sweeney wrapped up his career, which ran from 1951-53, as Idaho’s all-time top scorer in track and field as well as the school-record holder in the 120-yard high hurdles (14.7) and the 220-yard low hurdles (23.7).
He had his best season in 1953, when he went undefeated during the regular season in his events and won Pacific Coast Conference Northern Division titles in the high and low hurdles, as well as the broad jump. The only man he lost to that season in the hurdles was the world record holder in the events. One group of runners who never got the best of Sweeney resided just a few miles away. Throughout his career, Sweeney was never beaten by a Washington State runner in either hurdle event. After college he kept his track career going. Sweeney was a finalist at the 1956 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 400-meter hurdles and one year later finished sixth in the 440-yard hurdles at the U.S. Championships. He went on to serve for 20 years in the Idaho State Legislature. He also spent more than 30 years working as an official and a starter at the Idaho State High School Track & Field Championships.