Eryn Leonard, a Moffat County High School junior, leads a pack of girls during the 800-meter run Saturday at the Delta Invitational. Leonard finished seventh to help lead the girls team to a 16th-place finish overall and the boys team finished fifth out of 20 teams.

Photo by David Pressgrove

Eryn Leonard, a Moffat County High School junior, leads a pack of girls during the 800-meter run Saturday at the Delta Invitational. Leonard finished seventh to help lead the girls team to a 16th-place finish overall and the boys team finished fifth out of 20 teams.

MCHS track and field teams show strong in Delta

Results ...

The Moffat County High School varsity track and field team’s results from Saturday’s Delta Invitational in Delta:

(Name — event — place — time/mark)

• Garrett Spears — shot put — 1 — 45’8.25”

• Garrett Spears — discus — 2 — 142’5”

• Moffat County — boys 4-by-800-meter relay — 1 — 8:35.24

• Moffat County — boys 4-by-100-meter relay — 2 — 45.9

• Moffat County — boys 4-by-400-meter relay — 3 — 3:44.97

• Moffat County — girls 800-meter sprint medley — 6 — 2:02.8

• Andy Browning — 200-meter dash — 3 — 23.9

• Miguel Molina — 800-meter run — 3 — 2:09.14

• Johnny Landa — 400-meter dash — 4 — 53.86

• Dale Nakai — 1,600-meter run — 5 — 4:59.56

• Ryder Seely — 110-meter hurdles — 5 — 18.01

• Ryder Seely — 300-meter hurdles — 5 — 45.09

• Kim Schaffner — discus — 6 — 94’8”

• Lauren Samuelson — 400-meter dash — 7 — 1:08.11

• Eryn Leonard — 800-meter run — 7 — 2:38.05

— The boys team finished fifth and the girls 16th out of 20 teams

Todd Trapp said the early part of the track and field season is used to get kids in the right kind of physical shape.

While the athletes want to run great times early, Trapp, the Moffat County High School track and field coach, said with the right conditioning, the best times will come toward the end of the season as they push to qualify for the state meet.

Senior Andy Browning’s time in the 200-meter dash Saturday at the Delta Invitational sets him up to finish among the top sprinters in the state.

In the Bulldog’s third meet of the season, Browning took third place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.9 seconds, only .4 seconds off the time he posted at last year’s Western Slope League meet.

“I thought I did really well this weekend and I improved from the previous week,” Browning said Monday. “Early in the season, it is all about making improvements every meet and hopefully I will be posting my best times at the end of the season.”

Browning also anchored the boys 4-by-100-meter relay, which finished second with a time of 45.9 seconds, helping the boys team to a fifth-place finish overall out of 20 teams.

The MCHS girls team finished in 16th place and Glenwood Springs won both sides of the meet.

“I thought it was a really good weekend for our team,” Trapp said. “We had some relay teams who ran well and we had some individuals who performed really well for this time of the year. With the weather we have had early on, it is great to see the kids performing so well.”

Trapp said not having worked out of the blocks often, one of the problems sprinters have early in the season is starts.

Browning said his starts definitely need work, but it will only help him drop time later in the season.

“We usually work on block starts once a week because this early, we have to work on endurance and building up speed,” he said. “But getting a good start is very important because if you can get an explosion off the start, you can build speed early.

“Block starts are something I want to develop as the season goes on and really start to perfect it.”

The 4-by-100-meter relay team, which also consisted of sophomore Kelly Campbell, junior Erik Silva and senior Colby Haddan, used strong chemistry Saturday in its second-place finish, Browning said.

“We still have some stuff we can work on, but I thought we did really well on our handoffs,” he said. “If we can continue to improve in our handoffs and Kelly gets a good start, we could be a really good relay team.”

Seniors Johnny Landa, Miguel Molina and Dale Nakai posted top-five finishes in the 400-meter dash, the 800-meter run and the 1,600-meter run, respectively, and junior Ryder Seely took fifth in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles to help lead the boys team.

Senior Garrett Spears finished first in the shot put with a throw of 45 feet, 8.25 inches, and took second in discus with a throw of 142’5”.

On the girls team, junior Kim Schaffner took sixth place in the discus, fellow junior Eryn Leonard finished seventh in the 800-meter run and freshman Lauren Samuelson took seventh in the 400-meter dash.

Trapp said having well-rounded teams would help come time for the league meet in May.

“Eryn and Lauren had good races, Garrett had two big throws and we did great in a lot of relays,” he said. “In order to place high at big meets, you have to have individuals in every event who can do good, whether that is jumping, sprinting or throwing.”

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