Moffat County High School’s Selena Hernandez to make leap to college track | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County High School’s Selena Hernandez to make leap to college track

Senior to compete for University of Colorado-Colorado Springs

Moffat County High School senior Selena Hernandez completes paperwork to run track for University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Monday at MCHS, joined by, from left, Athletics and Activities Director Mike Mitchell, father Joseph Picanco, mother Brandy Picanco and track coach Todd Trapp. Selena specializes in the hurdles and relay events, the latter of which she was part of a state championship group earlier this year.

Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School senior Selena Hernandez sees her favorite sport as an ideal metaphor for persistence when the going gets tough. Though she has yet to clear every obstacle of her high school career, she’s nearing a finish line that will also serve as the starting line for something even bigger and better. senior Selena Hernandez sees her favorite sport as an ideal metaphor for persistence when the going gets tough. Though she has yet to clear every obstacle of her high school career, she's nearing a finish line that will also serve as the starting line for something even bigger and better.

Moffat County High School senior Selena Hernandez sees her favorite sport as an ideal metaphor for persistence when the going gets tough. Though she has yet to clear every obstacle of her high school career, she's nearing a finish line that will also serve as the starting line for something even bigger and better.

Hernandez signed her letter of intent Monday to run track for University of Colorado-Colorado SpringsUniversity of Colorado-Colorado Springs, competing in hurdles and relays., competing in hurdles and relays.

University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, competing in hurdles and relays.

Unlike some entry-level athletes, Hernandez will likely be thrown right into action at the NCAA Division II school, which is expanding its track and field program and hired new head coach Brandon Masters this fall.

"The girls that he's recruiting are all new girls except a few seniors, but mostly it's freshmen," she said.

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The choice to become a Mountain Lion came from the geographic location and UCCS academics' science offerings, the MCHS senior pursuing a future in geological and environmental studies with an emphasis on engineering.

"They actually have the programs combined, so it kind of works out perfectly," she said, noting the possibilities in the field could take her anywhere in the world.

Hernandez was one-fourth of the state championship 4×100-meter relay teamone-fourth of the state championship 4×100-meter relay team for Moffat County track and an for Moffat County track and an All-State honoree this springAll-State honoree this spring and has visited the finals each year of high school so far. and has visited the finals each year of high school so far.

one-fourth of the state championship 4×100-meter relay team for Moffat County track and an All-State honoree this spring and has visited the finals each year of high school so far.

In her last year as a Bulldog, she hopes to improve her all-around capabilities by challenging herself in longer individual running events. Before that, though, she's spending the winter cross-training as part of the girls swimming team.

"It's rough, I'm definitely used to being on land," she said of the switch to racing in water. "It's an adjustment, but I know it'll help in the long run."

Track coach Todd Trapp said he supports her work ethic and hopes to see her back at state in May.

"She's done a great job working for us, and she's going to work hard for them, great worker, great attitude, and I'm excited to see how that goes for her," he said.

The specialized training a college coach can offer will be especially beneficial, Trapp added.

"Hurdle training is pretty specific, and we'll be working on some endurance with her," he said.

While she's had the greatest success with relays, the hurdles remain Hernandez's true passion on the track, both the 100- and 300-meter races, though in college the length can be as much as 400. She was nursing a minor injury earlier this year that kept her from doing her best in the race at state, but her personal objective is to break the MCHS record for both events before the end of the school year.

The endeavor is one of speed and timing, as well as a test of tenacity when things don't go right, she said.

"It's a symbol for life, it means you can get over anything," she said. "I've fallen before, and it hurts, but you get back up and you keep going and finish your race."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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