Hayden track coach Kevin Klecker soon will be sporting a new pink hairdo.
It's not that he's reverting back to his heavy metal days -- it's because he lost a bet to Alan "Bubba" Stark that he could not throw more than 45 feet in the shotput.
Stark threw a personal-best 45 feet, 8 inches to win the bet and earn a ninth overall placing in the Class 2A State Track and Field Championships preliminary competition Friday in Pueblo.
However, only the top eight finishers make it to the finals.
"I kind of choked," Stark said. "I was looking down, and it kind of hurt me. But I'm happy with it."
Kleckler said Stark has made significant improvements in the one year he has thrown shotput.
"His progress is phenominal," Kleckler said. "It's the greatest improvement I've seen in the 10 years I've coached track. At best, he was throwing 37 feet at the begining of the year."
Stark's father, Art, agreed.
"He took what they taught him and made it into a reality," Art Stark said. "He's here at state, and it just doesn't get much better than that." Alan Stark will compete in the discus today with a goal of 140 feet. His personal best is 137 feet, 3 inches.
The runners of the Hayden track squad also finished with several personal bests and possibly broken a school record.
The top finisher for the girls going into today's finals was Samantha Schoeberl, who placed seventh overall in the 100-meter dash in 13.25 seconds.
Schoeberl said she was nervous before the race, but seeing familiar faces as opponents gave her a push.
Schoeberl was also a key component in several team events. She helped teammates Jaclyn Etzler, Andrea Deepe and Justine Bedell to a 10th overall finish in the 800-meter medley in 1:58.19, a three-second improvement from the last meet.
As senior co-captains, Schoeberl and Etzler led teammates Bedell and Lauren Branstetter to an 11th overall finish in the 4x100-meter relay with a personal record 53.15 seconds. Despite the record, tears came to Etzler's eyes after the race.
"She's very competitve," Schoeberl said. "She wanted to win. But all you can do is your best." Etzler, Branselter, Schoeberl and Dana Schlingman ran another personal record in the 4x400-meter relay with 4:30.07
Individually, Branstetter finished eleventh overall in the 400-meter dash in 1:02.89.
Kleckler said she ran faster last week, but Brach said Branstetter will get better because she is only a sophomore.
Another sophomore, Evan Hilling, placed fourth in his heat, 11th overall in the 200-meter dash in 23.47 seconds.
Hilling said he also was nervous and got a slow start. Kleckler said Hilling would get better in the coming years.
"A lot of the kids don't even get this far, so they should be proud," assistant track coach Sally Brach said. "They're among the best in the state or they wouldn't be here."
Hayden's only high jumper, Kayla Kostur, also performed well, finishing eighth overall in final competition with a jump of 4 feet, 10 inches. She said she was jumping the best she has ever jumped and cleared 5'1" in practice Tuesday.
Kostur missed a 5-foot jump in three attempts but said she was pleased with her performance.