In the final leg of the boys 1,600-meter relay, Moffat County senior Kelly Campbell took the baton in first place and held off a late-charging Soroco team with a strong kick of his own to seal the win.
It was the right way to cap off a very successful Clint Wells Invitational on Friday in Craig, a win in the last event, after the Bulldogs had started the meet with victories in the 3,200-meter relays and picked up a host of wins in between.
Even better, despite a strong wind blowing down the back stretch of the Moffat County track, Shandon Hadley, Joe Selbach, Eddie Smercina and Campbell’s winning time of 3:39.44 was their fastest of the season by eight seconds and moved them into state qualifying contention.
It was a big day across the board for the boys’ relays teams, as the same foursome set season bests in the 400 and 800 relays, while Nestor Arrellano, Issik Herod, Steven Walls and Diego Quezada had their fastest finish in the 3,200 relay.
Many Bulldogs walked home with wins but didn’t have times or distances that would qualify for the state meet because of gusting winds Friday. If the wind is aiding an athlete by more than 2 miles per hour, it can’t count as a time toward state qualifying in the 100, 200, long jump or triple jump.
So while Campbell ran well in the boys 100, taking third, a tailwind of 5.5 miles per hour lowered his time to a blazing 11.12 seconds.
“It’s too bad it doesn’t count,” he said. “It felt good. I didn’t think the wind was that strong, but I figured I ran about 11.5.”
Those in the 100 enjoyed wind-aided results but it was shoving against long jumpers all afternoon. Ary Shaffer won the girls event with a leap of 14 feet, 3.5 inches, one of her shortest marks in her two years at Moffat County.
“It’s cool to win the meet but kind of a bummer to have it be one of my worst jumps since I’ve been here,” the sophomore said. “It would’ve been nice to have the wind blowing behind me so I could jump far, even though it wouldn’t have counted.”
Early in the meet, the wind died down for Selena Hernandez’ 100-meter hurdles race and she ran a personal record 16.62 seconds to take first. As of Friday, it was the third-fastest time in the state in Class 3A.
Emily White broke through in the discus with her best throw. After throwing 102 feet in the first meet of the season, White had been struggling to match the effort and stuck in the middle to upper 90s. During the preliminary round, she only reached 91 feet, but tossed it 103-8 on her first attempt in the finals and took second.
“It’s the first week I’ve improved at all this season,” she said afterward. “It feels good. The thing is it barely felt like I threw it that time, it was just natural. I’ve got to stop thinking, stop getting angry at myself and just throw.”
Keenan Hildebrandt had his best throw in the shotput by 6 feet, taking second place with a distance of 42-3.75.
Top girls sprinter Kayla Pinnt took the day off, resting an injured hamstring but the Bulldogs were OK without her. Cheianne Pinnt took second in the 100 and Maddy Olinger was fourth, while Pinnt was second to teammate Emma Samuelson in the 200. The 800 relay team took first overall without its anchor, as well.
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.