8 a.m. Saturday at Delta
8 a.m. March 21 at Mickey Dunn Invitational in Grand Junction
8 a.m. March 28 at Joe Shields Invitational in Kremmling
8 a.m. April 4 at Eagle Valley Invitational
8 a.m. April 11 at Glenwood Invitational
8 a.m. April 18 at Rifle Invitational
TBA, April 24 at Clint Wells in Moffat County
8 a.m. May 1-2 at Tiger Invitational in Grand Junction
TBA, May 8-9 at 4A Showcase in Grand Junction
TBA, May 14-16 at state track in Denver
The track and field season for Steamboat Springs High School, along with most of Class 4A, looks to be a wait-and-see affair.
For the first time, qualification for the state meet and the meet itself have been shaken up. Gone are pre-qualifying times and finishing in the top three at the regional meet. Instead, the top 18 throws, jumps and times in each event will qualify for the state meet.
Whether this benefits the Steamboat team - which qualified only pole vaulter Jaime Winter for state last year - remains to be seen.
"Right now, I don't know," Steamboat head coach Luke DeWolfe said. "It's early for us to say and not even having run a meet, I can't even venture a guess of how this is going to play out."
In addition to Winter, who will pole vault again, DeWolfe said he expects his distance runners to do well all season.
Led by distance coach Greg Long, most of the distance runners have been training throughout the winter. Seniors John Cutter and Brittany Long should pace the Sailors. Both narrowly missed last year's state meet but are expected to contribute heavily to this season's team. Brittany Long will turn more of her attention to the 1,600-meter race, whereas in the past her focus has been on the 3,200-meter run.
"It's just because the mile record is more plausible right now," said Brittany Long, who will have to run better than a 5:19:9 to break the school record. "Plus, I like that race better."
Along with Brittany and Cutter - who will run in college next year - Greg Long said he is excited to see Jeff Sperry run this year. He also mentioned Peter Daley and the boys and girls 3,200-meter relay teams as having a shot at the state championships.
In the jumping and sprint events, DeWolfe said Dylan Pivarnik has a chance to qualify, while Carl Steele could punch his ticket in the throwing events.
One benefit for Steamboat is an increased number of athletes in the program. Whereas the girls team had only a handful of athletes last year, this year's team has 16 members.
That, along with the new format, has DeWolfe excited about the possibilities.
"The nice part about this year is it doesn't matter when that best time comes," he said. "You can peak early, and it may not be that big of a deal. All it takes is one outstanding time, and you can qualify."
Season opens Saturday
Although it will be a small team going - most of Hayden's athletes have the weekend off or are in Pueblo with the girls basketball team at the state tournament - the Tigers open the track and field season Saturday in Delta.
Hayden returns a slew of state qualifiers, including defending shot put champion Holli Salazar. Other key returnees include Jake Walker in the 100-meter dash and the 3,200-relay team of Delanie Vedepo, Krista Tomke, Calla Manzanares and Laura Zirkle. Maddison Kopsa also will be expected to contribute.