Outnumbered 7-to-2, the Hayden boys participating in this weekend's state track and field meet -- Evan Hilling and Alan Stark -- already have devised a plan to pass the time in the hotel.
"I'm bringing my PlayStation 2," Hilling said.
While the Tigers plan on having time to play, the nine athletes taking part in the state meet Friday and Saturday won't mind if competition chews up a majority of their stay in Pueblo.
"That's what you work for all season," Hilling said. "The chance to go to state."
Joining Hilling and Stark in the state field are teammates Samantha Schoeberl, Lauren Branstetter, Kayla Kostur, Andrea Deepe, Jaclyn Etzler, Dana Schlingman and Justine Bedell.
All qualified by finishing third or higher in a relay or individual event at last weekend's regional meet in Grand Junction. Stark prequalified for the discus in a meet earlier this year.
"The fact that they peaked at the right time is great," Hayden coach Kevin Kleckler said. "Sometimes you worry about that."
Kleckler said he was confident in Branstetter and Schoeberl's chances to qualify for state in their individual events, the 400 and 100 meters, respectively, heading into regionals. Branstetter took home a regional championship in the 400 in a school-record time of 1 minute, 2.21 seconds.
Schoeberl came in third in 13.19.
Kleckler said he also was confident Hayden's 800-medley team would perform well at regionals.
The team of Andrea Deepe, Justine Bedell, Jaclyn Etzler and Schoeberl came in second in 2:01.67.
Bedell is just a freshman, but she isn't surprised she and her teammates earned a trip to Pueblo in either the 800 medley or the 800-meter relay.
"I expected to get somewhere in the relays," Bedell said. "They are the absolute best part of track."
The relays also helped sophomore Dana Schlingman earn her first trip to the state track meet. Though Schlingman placed seventh at regionals in the 300 hurdles, she hadn't punched her ticket to state until the conclusion of the 1,600-meter relay -- the final event in every meet.
"It was nerve-racking," Schlingman said. "My teammates were already going, and I knew I had better work hard. I usually don't put pressure on myself."
Schlingman started off strong for the Tigers, as the team of Schlingman, Etzler, Schoeberl and Branstetter broke the school record, finishing third in 4:30.50.
"One of the surprises was the 1,600-meter relay," Kleckler said. "It takes four pretty fast girls to run that race."
At regionals, all four posted excellent times, sending the team to state.
Schlingman is optimistic the relay team can post an even faster time.
Though Schoeberl will have a full slate of events between her 100 meters and three relays -- the other three girls on the team -- Schlingman, Etzler and Branstetter -- won't have as many individual events to focus on during the state meet.
"Maybe it will be better," Schlingman said. "We will be fresher because we won't be doubled up."
The state track meet begins at 9:40 a.m. Friday at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo.
The 800 medley kicks things off in both Classes 2A/3A.
--To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org