Moffat County track comes up big on 1st day of state | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County track comes up big on 1st day of state

Nate Waggenspack

Emily Womble comes down the home stretch at Jeffco Stadium in the 3,200-meter 3A girls final Thursday. Womble passed four competitors and ran her best time of the season at 12:08 to take seventh place for the Bulldogs. Womble's race was one of many great results for Moffat County on the first day of the meet.

— Through seven laps of her 3,200-meter run Saturday, Moffat County sophomore Emily Womble sat and waited. But with 400 meters to go, she made a move and earned herself a podium finish and medal at her first state track meet.

Womble has dropped significant time in the 2-mile in recent weeks and did so again Thursday, passing four runners in the final lap for a personal-best 12:08.

The sophomore started the race slowly on purpose, wanting the field to separate so she could see which runners to go after. After two laps, she was in 14th, but after seven laps, she still only had moved up to 11th.

"I wanted to see who was going to be where and who I could catch," Womble said. "I caught more than I thought I could. I don't know, I'm just always strong, especially that last 200. I know I'm almost done, so I go as fast as I can, and I haven't died yet."

Womble's finish capped off an excellent first day of state track for Moffat County. In all three events that were finals for the Bulldogs, they finished on the podium.

In his first jump of the day, Matt Hamilton hit a personal record with 41 feet, 2.75 inches and took fourth place in the boys triple jump. He had entered the event with the eighth-best jump in 3A but came up big right from the start.

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The girls 3,200-meter relay finished sixth overall but ran its fastest time of the season by nearly 12 seconds. No team in 3A had entered the state meet with a time below 10 minutes, but everyone ran fast Thursday, as Moffat County's 9:58.38 came in just behind Eaton for fifth place.

Both 800-meter relay teams delivered Thursday in their preliminary races. The girls team won its heat easily and nearly broke the MCHS record in the process, but in the interest of staying fresh for other races, anchor Kayla Pinnt coasted into the finish line.

"She didn't even run all the way in," Lauren Samuelson said about the finish. "We did really well, and we're excited for tomorrow."

The Bulldogs’ 1:46.28 was the third-fastest run overall, as Coal Ridge and the Classical Academy pushed each other to quick times in the other heat. The Moffat boys 800 relay came into the meet needing its best run of the season in order to qualify for the finals. It got it, hitting its best time by two seconds with a 1:32.95.

Despite two band handoffs, the Bulldogs showed off their best speed of the year.

"I think it's just being at state," Shandon Hadley said, attributing some of their results to the adrenaline of competing on the big stage.

In her individual sprinting events, Pinnt also took care of business. She won her heat in the 100-meter dash in 12.38 seconds, beating out James Irwin sprinter Alicia Lawrence, who beat her last year. Only Ashley Snyder, of Lamar, was faster in the other heat, finishing in 12.24.

In the 200, Pinnt and Snyder ran side by side and took off from the group, and then Pinnt's competitive edge kicked in.

"I wanted to slow down, and I kind of did at the end, but I wanted to beat her," she said. "She beat me in the 100. I wanted to take it easier, but in the moment, I just can't."

The 800 relay finals are Friday while the other sprint finals will be Saturday. Mattie Jo Duzik also will compete in the girls 800 final Friday.

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.