Moffat County hurdler Evan Atkin wins state title
The state championships haven’t always been kind to Evan Atkin, but Saturday afternoon saw the Moffat County senior finally climb to the top of the podium.
Atkin won the 3A state title in the 300-meter hurdles at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, as he broke his own school record with a time of 38.49 seconds.
“Amazing. It’s all been amazing,” Atkin said said coming off the track. “I was just pushing out and trying to go as far as I could, you know — just keep everything smooth, stay consistent, be aggressive.”
He had all day Saturday to prepare for the race, with no other events before it and the relays later in the afternoon.
“It was good to get more time to stretch out and get ready because I was really sore after the last couple days,” Atkin said.
Atkin came into state as the top seed, but he was ranked third for the finals after Friday’s preliminary round. This year was also the first time he has attempted hurdles at the state level after shifting his focus to the event and doing less with high jump and long jump.
“Not worrying about jumps really let me get more hurdle time,” he said. “I’d never really put much time in that until this year.”
Being ranked lower after prelims was a big motivator to come back and finish strong, and Atkin was eager to shake off some of the mishaps he’s had before at state.
While he has earned at least one state medal in each of the past two years, a false start in the 4×200 relay shook him up last year. In Friday’s 4×2 finals, a bad handoff disqualified the relay team for a second straight year, though Atkin still crossed the finish line as the anchor.
To add to his anxiety in the hurdles, Evan’s older brother Jared was disqualified in the 300 hurdles several years earlier. In spite of that, Jared still got some state hardware as a senior and went on to compete in track at Western Colorado University.
“My brother has been my guide in track and field since middle school, always pushing me,” Evan said. “I don’t think he ever got the credit for all the work he put in for high school track.”
Evan is the second MoCo state champion hurdler in the past three years. Logan Hafey won the 300 hurdles in 2021 and narrowly missed repeating as champ last year. Evan will join Hafey on the Colorado Mesa University track team this fall.
After finally getting the big win he’s been striving for, Evan was quick to congratulate the other runners.
“Great competition with great guys,” he said.
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