Lakewood In the 800-meter relay prelims Thursday, Moffat County’s girls team held a big lead in its heat, so Kayla Pinnt coasted into the finish line to conserve energy, and the Bulldogs came up just short of an MCHS record.
In the state finals Friday, the Bulldogs came back even stronger and made sure the record was theirs. The so-called “Sister Relay” knocked more than a second off its best time, running a 1:44.96, setting a new mark for Moffat County and finished third in the state.
“That’s been our motivation,” said Lauren Samuelson, who ran the leadoff leg for the team. “We say we’re running for our sister.”
Samuelson handed off to younger sister Emma Samuelson, who gave it to senior Cheianne Pinnt, whose sister Kayla finished it off, hence the name. On a team that you’d expect to have good chemistry, the Bulldogs’ handoffs were the best they’ve been on the most important day.
“That’s the best handoff Emma and I’ve had,” Lauren Samuelson said.
Coal Ridge and The Classical Academy took first and second after qualifying with the best times Thursday, but when the Bulldogs saw their time flash on the scoreboard, they were all smiles.
“We got the record, that’s what we were going for,” Kayla Pinnt said.
The boys 800 relay had nailed its best effort of the season in prelims and qualified sixth. It also improved Friday, recording a 1:32.82 and taking fifth place in the state with a team that includes first-year high school runners Shandon Hadley, Eddie Smercina and Joe Selbach.
“We beat what we were supposed to finish at,” Smercina said, while teammate Kelly Campbell added, “We’ll take it.”
Friday was less busy for the Bulldogs at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, but there were still plenty of results to be pleased with. In the 400-meter relay, the girls team took second in its heat and has the third-fastest qualifying time entering Saturday’s final. The boys team, which qualified for state in the final spot in 3A, did not advance.
Similar to the girls’ 4x800 meter relay they ran in yesterday, Mattie Jo Duzik and Ary Shaffer dealt with a fast field in the open 800. Duzik ran 2:26 and placed 13th, a time that would have been good for seventh entering the meet. Shaffer ran 2:29 to take 16th place. It was her fastest individual 800 of the season.
Both 1,600 relays ran, as well, each missing out on a qualifying spot. The girls just missed, with their 4:14.87 a half-second away from ninth place, while the boys’ 3:35.48 was 15th.
Saturday is the final day of competition at Jeffco, with several strong finishes in play for the Bulldogs. Kayla Pinnt will run in the 100 and 200, the girls 400 relay will try to move up from third, Selena Hernandez will run the 100-meter hurdles, Shaffer is in the long jump and Emily White in the shot put.
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.