Moffat County throwers make most of state opportunities

Moffat County's Alexis Herndon releases her final throw in the shot put Friday at the 3A track and field state championships.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

It was the first time in the throwing rings at Jeffco Stadium for two Moffat County athletes.

One won’t be back next year, while the other seeks to return even stronger. But each of them did all they could to make their mark at state.

For the first time since 2017, MCHS had competitors in both the discus and shot put at the 3A track and field state championships, with junior Ian Hafey in discus and senior Alexis Herndon in shot put.

Herndon ultimately finished 11th with a throw of 31 feet, 2 inches Friday afternoon. Thanks to drizzle throughout the day affecting the state schedule, she had a long wait until the 3A girls finally were able to step up and compete.

Her results didn’t quite match up to the 33-7 that got her there, but she was still pleased with the outcome.

“I feel like I accomplished a lot just by making it here,” Herndon said. “That’s all I really wanted.”

Alexis’s older sister, Hailee, was in the crowd watching her as she has many times this season. Hailee also threw shot and disc in high school, but missed out on a chance to go to state as track and field was shut down during her senior year in spring 2020.

That didn’t stop Hailee from advising her younger sibling this spring.

“She told me just to stay low and not let myself get too high,” Alexis said.

A few feet away in the discus area, Hafey also had an older sibling viewing, with older brother Logan cheering him on.

Ian qualified for the finals with a personal record 135-5, and though he couldn’t exceed that in the next round, it got him a state medal as he placed ninth.

It wasn’t the first time on the state podium for Ian — who took fifth in the 300-meter hurdles as a freshman in 2021, the same year his brother gained a state title — but it was the first time as a thrower.

In fact, he only got back into track about a month ago after being medically cleared for an issue in his lower extremities that kept him from competing in football and basketball.

“I have an extra bone on the inside my foot, so they had to shave it out and let it heal by itself, but I tore two ligaments in that first football game,” Ian said. “It’s a slow process for recovery, so no running this year. This is actually only the third meet this year for me throwing. I hope I can make my way up to the top next year.”

Ian added that he was pleased to be back in an athletic capacity of any kind.

“Just being able to make it to state after such short notice, not being able to practice much and only having one meet to throw, I’m pretty happy about all that,” he said.

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