In the second-to-last weekend of the 2014 track season, Moffat County’s athletes looked to be in prime condition at the right time of the year.
The Bulldogs were at the 3A Western Slope League meet in Grand Junction on Friday and Saturday and had two excellent days on the track, solidifying what has already been a good season.
The girls team brought home league champion honors in seven events and took second place in the meet, losing a back-and-forth points battle to Coal Ridge, 167.5–156.
“They had really good depth in their 400,” coach Todd Trapp said about the advantage Coal Ridge was able to open up. “It was really close throughout the whole thing and we got to the 400 where they had three high scorers which kind of separated them.”
While winning the league meet was one goal for the Bulldogs, the results they achieved to get second place were victories in their own right. Mattie Jo Duzik and Emily Womble won the 800 and 3,200 meters, respectively, Friday, then they took second and third in the 1,600 — a race neither typically runs — Saturday. Ary Shaffer hadn’t run an open 800 this season, but finished third to give the Bulldogs more points in the distance races.
“We wanted to do everything we could to try and win that league title, which meant people were going to run some races they’re not used to running,” Trapp said. “We made a run at it and came up short. We’re not disappointed at all, though.”
Kayla Pinnt was back to running a full meet’s worth of races and looked good. She won the 100 and 200, setting a season-best time with 12.33 seconds in the shorter race. She also anchored the Bulldogs’ league-champ 800 relay team and runner-up 400 relay.
“She had a great weekend,” Trapp said. “She looked really strong in the 100 and 200 and I just talked to her, she said she’s feeling good.”
Shaffer took fifth in the long jump, but her leap of 15 feet, 8 inches was her best of the season by five inches and may be enough to get her into the state field.
The boys team finished sixth in points scored and had several key performances, as well. Kelly Campbell ran a 23.06 in the preliminary round of the 200-meter dash, his fastest time of the season and a likely qualifier to the state meet, where he had been outside the top 18. He also ran on the 1,600 relay with Shandon Hadley, Connor Scranton and Eddie Smercina, which took third in 3:35.97, also a best time of the year for Moffat County.
“Our guys had some great results,” Trapp said. “The four by one was tough, the four by four ran tough and the four by eight ran their best time of the year.”
Hadley took fifth in the 100, Smercina had a season-best jump to take third in the long jump and Keenan Hildebrandt was third in the discus with one of his best throws of the year.
“We had a bunch of great performances from our guys and so many of those guys are young,” Trapp said.
The Bulldogs will wait for the results from other league meets to become official but they are likely to have competitors all over the place at the state meet, which begins Thursday in Lakewood.
“This is the exciting time of the year. This is what we gear up for,” Trapp said. “We try to work everything out so that this is when we’re really competing our best.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.