Steamboat Springs While today's track and field meet in Moffat County is a state pre-qualifying meet, Hayden High School coach Kevin Kleckler isn't going in with the mindset his athletes have to perform their best.
Instead, Kleckler said today will be the last track meet he uses to evaluate which athletes fit best in each event.
"We'll try to determine where people are at," Kleckler said. "After this meet and the next two weeks is where we really focus our efforts."
Kleckler, however, isn't ready to concede that no Tigers will qualify. In fact, he said several different athletes have the ability to qualify for state today.
On the girls side, Kleckler said Holli Salazar and Emily Whiteman have been near the top of the leader board in the shot put. Tuesday at Rangely, Whiteman finished first and Salazar finished second. Laura Zirkle and Maddison Kopsa also have a chance to pre-qualify for the state meet, Kleckler said. Zirkle won the 3,200-meter run in Rangely, beating her school record by more than four seconds. Kopsa - who has a season-best jump of 32 feet in the triple jump - is less than a foot away from qualifying.
Kleckler said on the boys side, he's excited to see how his relay teams - as well as sprinters Jake Walker, Coy Letlow and Zathan Bark - do against the 17-team field.
"We're hoping for some surprises," he said. "We're hoping for the best, but we're looking forward to league next" Saturday in West Grand.
The league meet - which features 10 teams including Soroco - is also a state pre-qualifying meet.
Kleckler said after today's meet, he should have a better idea of his lineup for the league meet as well as the regional meet in Grand Junction on May 11 and 12.
"We're not ready to peak," Kleckler said. "By no means do we want to peak (today). We want to keep digging and peak at regionals. Now is not the time to peak."