Kayla Pinnt made sure she left nothing to chance Saturday at Jeffco Stadium.
A year ago, Pinnt lost in a photo finish when James Irwin sprinter Alicia Lawrence out-leaned her at the finish line in the 100-meter dash. This time, the Moffat County sophomore blew away her competition — twice — to secure state titles in the 100 and 200.
“I’m so happy,” she said after the 100. “All my hard work paid off this year.”
In the 100, she had a good start and was the strongest sprinter, owning a comfortable lead by the halfway point and winning by two-tenths of a second, a significant margin in that race. In the 200, she was the clear leader coming off the curve and won by almost half a second. In both races, she set personal bests in 12.04 and 24.57 seconds.
“At the end (of the 200) I was dead, so I knew it would be a fast time,” she said. “It feels great. I couldn’t do it without everybody I have — my parents, my teammates, my coaches.”
But after the 200, Pinnt still wasn’t done. She ran the anchor leg of the girls 400-meter relay Saturday afternoon, which finished as runner-up. The foursome of Cheianne Pinnt, Selena Hernandez, Emma Samuelson and Kayla nailed its handoffs and came in at a season-best 50.29 seconds, edging out The Classical Academy at the line.
Earlier in the day, Hernandez had her own strong individual performance. The sophomore shook off nerves she had been dealing with in recent weeks and ran the 100-meter hurdles in 16.65 seconds to place sixth. It was just three-hundredths of a second off her best time.
“It felt really good,” Hernandez said. “I felt like my form was there, and I ran really hard. I’m pretty excited.”
This was Hernandez’s first year hurdling, making her finish that much more impressive. After a fall in a race near the end of the season, she had been more tentative lately, but delivered in the state prelims and finals.
In the field, Ary Shaffer finished 10th in girls long jump by leaping 15 feet, 5.75 inches, while Emily White’s throw of 32-10 was good for 13th. Neither athlete was satisfied with her performance, but both finished higher than they had been seeded coming into the meet.
Moffat County’s boys team finished with 11 points for 21st place while the girls scored 46 points to place seventh as a team.
“As coaches, we can’t be more excited than we are,” coach Todd Trapp said. “For the girls, three relays scoring, Kayla a two-time state champ, that doesn’t happen often. The boys in that 4x2, for them to run that well and place fifth was great. Those kids performed here.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports .