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Tigers eye pre-qualifying tourneys

Hayden's Laura Zirkle leads Soroco's Amber Larsen in the 3,200-meter run Saturday in Gypsum. Zirkle set the school record in the run while helping the Hayden girls to a fourth place finish.
Courtesy Photo

— Hayden High School track and field coach Kevin Kleckler was going to use Saturday’s Eagle Valley Invitational to gauge where his team fits in the Class 2A scheme of things.

After watching the Tigers compete aga-

inst 10 other teams, Kleckler thinks it’s viable Hayden could qualify as many as 15 athletes for state.



“It’s realistic and optimistic,” he said after the girls team finished fourth and the boys team finished seventh.

While Kleckler didn’t have a full complement of athletes competing today, he said he was especially pleased with his boys relay teams as well as some of the individual performances on both the boys and girls side.



“We got some excellent performances (Saturday),” he said. “But for us, today was a pretty average day.”

Hayden was paced by its 800-meter boys relay team and distance runner Laura Zirkle. The relay team beat several bigger schools and finished first with its best time of the year. Zirkle set the school record she already held in the 3,200-meter run.

With two more weeks remaining before the regional meet, Kleckler said the remaining few practices will be spent cutting those last few seconds in running events and getting those extra few meters in field events.

Hayden heads to Rangely on Tuesday before they have two state pre-qualifying meets at Moffat County on Saturday and the League meet the following week. Kleckler said after surveying teams it will see at the regional and league meets, he said he expects his girls team to compete for the top spot while the boys team should fall somewhere in the middle.

Either way, he said, the next two weeks should be exciting.

“Now,” he said, “we’re one step closer to the dance.”


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