Steamboat Springs In the big picture, Wednesday night's track meet in Steamboat Springs is small.
It's just three teams from Northwest Colorado taking an opportunity to meet on an all-weather surface that spends most of the spring buried underneath several feet of snow.
"It's really hard for us to host a track meet around here," Steamboat Springs High School Athletics Director Bruce Crowhurst said. "We try to keep it pretty informal because you never know what's going to happen (weather wise) here in Steamboat."
But for the Sailors, this week's triangular is much more important than it first appears.
"A competition is always better than practice," coach Andy Reust said. "Anytime you can trade a practice for an actual meet it is worth it."
Especially when your program has been slowed the past two weeks by the high school's spring break.
"Hopefully our athletes have kept in shape and will come back strong," Reust said. "But we only have seven practices left until the regional and we will need to make the most of them."
The Steamboat athletes are looking forward to facing teams from Soroco and North Park Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the Sailors only home meet of the season.
It will be the first of two meets for the Sailors this week. Steamboat will also travel to Moffat County Saturday for a meet featuring all the teams from the Western Slope Conference.
Reust wants to use the meets to boost his team back into competitive mode and get them ready for the regional meet.
Steamboat only had seven runners at last week's competition in Rifle. Reust said there were no noteworthy results for his team.
But the coach is confident that he can have the Sailors back on track before the regional meet May 10 at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
Most of the local athletes will need top finishes there if they want to compete at the state meet the following weekend in Denver.
"Last week was rough," Reust said. "We were missing a bunch of athletes because of spring break, and then we got hit with 2 feet of snow."
He said the runners who were in town were unable to practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of the snow. Reust also said the Steamboat relay teams will have to make up for lost time this week -- the Sailors haven't entered a relay race in the last two weeks.