Hayden This afternoon, 14 members of the Hayden boys and girls track team will be departing for Pueblo, where they will be looking to compete for state titles.
The state meet is set for Friday and Saturday at Dutch Clark Stadium.
Last weekend in Grand Junction, the boys team won the school's first-ever regional crown and nine boys are competing at state. The girls team fourth, which was impressive considering the team features just five girls. The entire team qualified for state.
"We had an impressive showing at regionals," said Kevin Kleckler, Hayden's coach. "We were a haunting presence. This is the biggest team I have ever taken to state. I am hoping we will bring back some medals."
The team is also the most talented Kleckler has had in his eight years of coaching.
The Tigers have been dominant in the sprints and the relay events all season.
Because of the Tigers' talent in the sprints and relays, Kleckler believes his boys team has a chance to finish as one of the top three teams in the state.
Kleckler believes a number of athletes have chances to win state championships, especially in the 100- and 200-meter relays.
Both of the relay teams are top-ranked and favorites going into this weekend.
Kleckler also believes a number of individuals can compete for state championships in individual events.
Having a good shot to come home with medals is senior Joel Wixson in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. Wixson holds school records in the 100 and 400. Junior Kevin Miller, who won the 200 at the regional meet, will also contend, as will junior Jacques Denker.
Kleckler also believes seniors Matt Walden and Mark Murphy will contend in the high jump.
On the girls side, Kleckler believes his talented five-member team will have a chance to finish in the top 10.
"A top-10 finish is very possible," Kleckler said. "Maybe even a top five."
Sophomore Jaclyn Etzler has been resting this week so she can prepare to compete in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Etzler has been battling a pulled hamstring for more than three weeks. Kleckler believes junior Kristin Brown will contend in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. Also expected to contend for a medal in the 100 hurdles is freshman Andrea Deepe.
Kleckler is hopeful the relay teams in the 100 and 200 also have strong performances at the state meet. At the regional meet, the two relay teams took first place.