Hayden boasts small but talented track squad in 2021 | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden boasts small but talented track squad in 2021

Hayden track and field athlete Leah Carrouth runs in the 2019 Class 2A girls 4x800-meter relay during the state track meet at Jeffco Stadium.

HAYDEN — For a small school, the Hayden High School track and field program is historically large and full of talent. This year, the squad has just 16 kids but is no less talented. First-year head coach Joe Knez expects some kids didn’t want to compete this year because the track schedule goes more than a month beyond graduation, with state being held June 24 to 26.

“We feel like it’s going to work out good. The kids that you have out (here) really want to be there because of the way it is,” Knez said. “All the kids always want to be there, but this year, there’s a little incentive (to not do it.) if you’re not 100% bought into track, you probably didn’t come out, because you’re into the summertime.”

With the sport seasons adjusted this year, athletes aren’t in as great a shape as they usually are the first week of the season. The Hayden boys haven’t had a sport since basketball, and the girls are coming off volleyball. That’s not as challenging, cardio-wise, as basketball, which normally precedes track season.

The Tigers will get a taste of where they stand and what shape they’re in Friday at the season-opening meet in Moffat County.

“We have a pretty good senior class. I expect all those kids to be pretty solid,” said Knez. “We have some returning kids from state (two years ago) in Keaton Knez. Jillian Bennet, she is a solid returner who’s got state experience, and Alison Rajzer, she took (the state title) in triple jump as a freshman. She’s now a junior. We’re looking for big things from her.”

Of course, Knez said every athlete has the potential to have a really good season based on what he’s seen so far and expects the underclassmen to heavily contribute as well.

Hayden track and field athlete Alison Rajzer won the 2019 Class 2A state title in the girls triple jump with a leap of 35 feet, 9.25 inches.

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