Hayden considers cross-country team | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden considers cross-country team

Dave Shively

There’s no question Hayden High School’s student body is interested in fall sports.

Hayden athletics director Kevin Kleckler said 50 boys tried out for football and 45 girls want to play volleyball. The school’s enrollment is less than 160.

And Kleckler knows that, because of the “the law of averages,” not all of those student-athletes will be able to maximize their experiences in terms of playing time. But that could change.

Kleckler and Hayden Middle School teacher Robin Bush are gauging interest in a high school cross-country team.

“We’re just kind of putting the feelers out,” Kleckler said of the organizational meeting that will take place at 7 p.m. Monday in Bush’s room at the middle school.

“Running is something I brought with me for a long time – it supports the active things I do now and really provides a base for everything you want to do,” said Bush, who coaches track and field at the middle school and coaches the high school’s high jumpers.

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Bush ran cross-country for the Steamboat Springs High School team back when it was the only fall season sports option for girls.

She thinks Hayden’s natural setting, featuring a combination of hills and altitude, will be a ripe setting to field a competitive team, which she said welcomes all sizes of athletes willing to train.

“First, we’ll see if the interest is there and then, second, we’ll have to assess the financial impact on the district,” Kleckler said, mentioning meet entry fees, coaches’ salary and travel expenses. “We can use some of the track gear, and all the kids really need is shoes, so I think it will be a minimal amount.”

Hayden will need a minimum of 10 students – five girls and five boys – to register team scores at meets, Kleckler said.

Currently, Hayden has only one student (Laura Zirkle) who has participated in cross-country. She ran with Moffat County’s team.

Kleckler said other Class 2A schools with comparable student body sizes, such as Meeker, have been competing at the 3A level, the smallest-school division sanctioned under the Colorado High School Activi-ties Association.

“Robin really has a passion for it, and we would really like to do it on a trial basis,” Kleckler said.

Based on student interest, Kleckler plans to make a recommendation about starting the team to the School Board at its July 18 meeting.

– To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com