Kayla Pinnt leans for the finish line in the Class 3A girls 100-meter dash finals Saturday at Jeffco Stadium. Pinnt placed second in a photo finish to James Irwin's Alicia Lawrence (at Pinnt's left in dark blue). Pinnt ran a season-best time 12.39 seconds to Lawrence's 12.38.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Kayla Pinnt leans for the finish line in the Class 3A girls 100-meter dash finals Saturday at Jeffco Stadium. Pinnt placed second in a photo finish to James Irwin's Alicia Lawrence (at Pinnt's left in dark blue). Pinnt ran a season-best time 12.39 seconds to Lawrence's 12.38.

Moffat County runners have big final day at state track

Moffat County results at state Saturday

100 meters — Kayla Pinnt, second

200 meters — Kayla Pinnt, second

1,600 meters — Eryn Leonard, 16th

4x100-meter relay — Aby Shaffer, Selena Hernandez, Cheianne Pinnt and Kayla Pinnt, ninth

4x400-meter relay — sixth

Girls overall team standings — Moffat County High School, 24 points, 12th

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The Moffat County girls 4x100 team exchanges high-fives after their finish in the finals Saturday at the state meet. The team of Ary Shaffer, Selena Hernandez, Cheianne Pinnt and Kayla Pinnt took ninth in the state.

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Eryn Leonard runs in a pack in the girls 1,600-meter run Saturday at the 2013 state championship track meet.

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Cheianne Pinnt sticks out her hand to receive the baton from Selena Hernandez in the finals of the girls 4x100-meter relay Saturday at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.

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Kayla Pinnt receives her runner-up medal on the podium Saturday after the 100-meter dash. Pinnt was second in the 100 and 200 meters Saturday at the state championship meet in Lakewood.

When the final results of the girls Class 3A state championship 100-meter dash finally flashed on the screen at Jefferson County Stadium on Saturday, Kayla Pinnt let out a sigh of disappointment and shook her head.

The Moffat County High School freshman had just found out she lost in a photo finish by 0.01 seconds to Alicia Lawrence of James Irwin High School. That was despite Pinnt having run her best time of the season in 12.39 seconds. After the medal presentation, though, she didn’t betray any discouragement.

“I just lost by one-hundredth of a second to a junior, and I’m a freshman,” Pinnt said. “I’m going to be making it on the podium four times today. I’m happy with (second) and I’ve still got time to win.”

Pinnt would later deliver a personal best in the 200-meter to take second as well with a blistering finish down the home stretch. She was seeded fourth in the event and not feeling as confident going into those finals, but she passed three other sprinters in the final 80 meters.

No Moffat County track athletes stood atop the podium on the final day of the state meet, but there was plenty of good to take away from the meet for a young group that outperformed its regular season bests in almost every event at state.

After Pinnt finished up her individual events, she was a part of two Moffat County relays, beginning with the 4x100. There, the Bulldogs finished ninth and were not happy with their time.

“I think we could have done better,” Ary Shaffer said. “This is our experience year, though.”

The team of Shaffer, Selena Hernandez, Cheianne Pinnt and Kayla Pinnt said they plan to be back at state the next few years. Three of them are freshmen, and Cheianne Pinnt is a junior.

“We made it to state and made it to finals,” Hernandez said. “I wish we wouldn’t have done so bad (in the finals). Next year we’ll be ready. We still got some shiny stuff (medals).”

Already planning a return trip to Lakewood was a common theme for Moffat County at this state meet. Only Eryn Leonard, who ran the 4x800, 4x400, 1,600 and 3,200 will not return to the girls team next year, and only two athletes on the boys side will graduate.

“It’s exciting for the future,” head coach Todd Trapp said. “They were able to build experience being here and they know what it’s about. They know it’s a three-day grind.”

Trapp said he noticed some of the athletes getting tired after three days of racing and being out in the sun and heat, but he was thrilled with their results as first-time state competitors.

“With the 4x100 we’re young, and the third day you could tell the girls were starting to get tired,” he said. “For three freshmen and a girl who’s never run track to finish ninth in the state meet is amazing.

“Eryn was seeded 18th (in the 1,600) coming in and with the amount she had raced so far, she had a great race beating our her seed. Finally, in the 4x400 they finished sixth and ran a great race. I’m super-proud of all these kids.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com

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