With the track and field season nearing regionals and state, several Moffat County athletes posted season-bests and helped their chances toward qualifying for the state meet.
The Bulldogs were at the Phil Wertman Invitational in Grand Junction on Friday and recorded a host of top finishes once again. The girls team’s sprint relays continue to be among the best in the state. The 400-meter relay team of Emma Samuelson, Selena Hernandez, Cheianne Pinnt and Kayla Pinnt took first with 50.80 seconds in the 800-meter relay, with the same runners except Lauren Samuelson in place of Hernandez, was third in 1:47.01. Both times were the fastest for Moffat County this season and are the second and third best, respectively, in the state so far.
“We’ve been working really hard and spending time working focusing on warming up (before races),” Samuelson said. “In the 4x2, we had perfect handoffs, and I think that was the big thing that helped drop our time.”
Samuelson added that the Bulldogs’ workouts are getting tougher in practice, so they have felt stronger in meets, as well.
Emily Womble had her best 3200-meter finish Friday, clocking a 12:38 and moving into state meet contention. As of Tuesday, her time was the 18th fastest in 3A, just two seconds outside of qualifying, as the top 16 times in each event qualify for state.
The 3200-meter relay also turned in a fast performance, crossing the finish line at Phil Wertman in 10:23. The team of Makayla Johnson, Ary Shaffer, Mattie Jo Duzik and Samuelson is sixth in 3A so far.
“We got everyone we needed in those relays,” coach Todd Trapp said. “It takes a great day weather-wise, it takes good handoffs and you need people to run against. We had all of that. Our 4x8 ran that time at state last year and we’re already there.”
Others ran and jumped well for the Bulldogs. Allie Dilldine ran her best mile of the season and took fifth in 5:59. Duzik was fourth in the 800 in 2:34 and Shaffer took seventh in the long jump, leaping 14 feet, 11.75 inches.
The boys 800-meter relay was seventh without its top sprinter. Shandon Hadly, Joe Selbach, Eddie Smercina and Kody Fief combined for 1:38.14. Senior Kelly Campbell, who was a part of the Bulldogs’ fastest finish in the event weeks ago, did not run at the meet and is a key part in some of the boys’ teams qualifying efforts.
Campbell currently is 1/10 of a second away from being an individual qualifier in the 100 and 200 and a part of the 400 and 800 relays, which sat in 21st and ninth, respectively, after last weekend.
“Those relays are going to have to improve to get there,” Trapp said. “Even the 4x2, they’ll need to subtract time to hold that spot.”
Moffat County hosts its home meet, the Clint Wells Invitational, beginning at noon Friday in Craig.
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.