Steamboat Springs Already with a strong contingent of athletes locked in to make the top 18 and qualify for the state meet, the Hayden High School track and field team may have gotten an unexpected boost Saturday during the last day of the regional track meet in Grand Junction.
The boys 1,600-meter relay team of Dakota Zehner, Brentt Gabel, Chris Zirkle and Hayden Blake put up a 3 minute, 41.89 second effort Saturday potentially moving the team closer to the top 18 in the event.
The top 18 individuals and teams in each event qualify for the state meet. The top 18 won’t be finalized until today.
The state meet begins Thursday in Denver and continues through Saturday.
Getting the 1,600-meter relay team in “would be gravy for us,” Hayden coach Richard Bush said. “It’s great since we haven’t been able to get it together all season.”
The team, for various reasons, hadn’t been able to run together until Saturday and made one heck of a push to a Hayden team set to make some individual noise.
Blake should qualify in the 110 and 300 hurdles and have a shot in each.
On Saturday, he finished second in the 110 hurdles, running a personal best of 16.99.
Chris Zirkle will have a chance to double medal in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs. On Saturday, he finished first in the 1,600-meter run, running a 4:27.28. He should be qualified in the top three in each event.
The Tigers also should get Aubree Haskins in the shot put and Brandon Ray and Dakota Zehner in the high jump into the state meet.
“The expectation is for them to get first at state,” Bush said. “That would be unbelievably great for the kids. If we can get a few of them to for first that lasts forever.”
Hayden leaves for the state meet Wednesday.
Steamboat coaches were not available Saturday night.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com