Moffat County track, field athletes focused on record season |

Moffat County track, field athletes focused on record season

Eyes forward, objective in mind and bodies ready to achieve their best, the members of the Moffat County High School track and field teams are dedicated to a season to remember, whether running, throwing or jumping.

Head coach Todd Trapp and his associates have seen a promising beginning to the year, with many athletes ready and raring to go once practices began in February, even gutting it out in the snow.

"Living where we live, you have those days where the weather's not great, but you've gotta fight through it and make yourself better no matter what the conditions are," he said.

Those who ran cross country were in the right mindset from the fall, many others also keeping in shape throughout the winter in other sports or of their own initiative. With about 60 kids in the mix, the teams are full of eager talent.

"We've been able to have tougher workouts, a little bit more intensity, and the kids are responding really well," Trapp said. "Guys and girls have had a great start."

Returning to track after her first season of basketball, junior Kayla Pinnt wasn't sure she would be in the best shape, but shooting hoops provided plenty of conditioning, as was apparent when she claimed a win in the 100-meter dash in her first meet back in her running shoes.

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"I honestly did not think I was going to come back that strong," she said. "I was really nervous, but my coaches and my teammates kept me calm. It felt really good."

Pinnt — recently named by MaxPreps as one of the top 10 female track competitors to watch across all classes in Colorado — holds the school record in the 100, 200 and 400 dash events and achieved state championships last year in the 100 and 200.

Her goal is to outdo herself this season, already having done so with a time of 12.22 seconds in the 100 at Broomfield, her fastest wind-legal time. The next step is breaking the 12.03 that she received last year and hopefully moving past the 12 second mark entirely.

One of the changes for Pinnt this year is not being able to run with her elder sister, Cheianne, who, along with another pair of siblings, Lauren and Emma Samuelson, made up the record-setting 4×200 "Sister Relay" in 2014. Ary Shaffer replaces Cheianne in the foursome this season.

"It's different not having my sister because she was like my best friend, but the relay girls now, we're so close still and it's practically the whole same relay," Pinnt said.

Shaffer also runs with the Samuelsons and Selena Hernandez in the 800 sprint medley relay.

As for male runners, the search continues for the perfect combination in each of the relays, with Connor Scranton, Kaden Hafey, Eddie Smercina, Diego Quezada, Riley Allen and others working in various functions to get the best results.

Shandon Hadley has been the boys' top sprinter so far in the 100, 200 and 400, while Mattie Jo Duzik, Allie Dilldine, Steven Walls and Ashley Suits have given MCHS some of its best times in longer events like the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 runs.

In the field events, Moffat County continues to gain strength and progress on a weekly basis. Shaffer and Smercina hold the top spots for the long jump, Karmen Christopher and Matt Hamilton doing the same in the triple jump.

Coaches are also working with athletes to hit the high jump pit in order to further round out the possibility of points for meets, with Luis Lopez the only Moffat County kid to leap over the bar in competition.

The Bulldogs keep adding more to their ranks in the field, and many have been quick to excel, Morgan Lawton a recent addition who set a new season best in the girls discus. Maddy Olinger likewise leads the team in the shot put, and Keenan Hildebrandt has been the dominant force in both events for the boys.

By far, the majority of track and field is made up of underclassmen, with only five seniors — Lopez, Hamilton, Ashlee Griffiths and Lauren and Alex Samuelson.

Freshmen Mikinzie Klimper, Zane Shipman and Toryn Hume said it can be intimidating to be around more experienced teammates, though through working together, they've also improved quite a bit from where they were in middle school.

"It's a lot tougher to get a varsity spot because these kids know what they're doing," Klimper said.

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

Moffat County High School track and field varsity team schedule

Time(s), Date(s), Event, Location

Noon, April 10 — Coal Ridge Invitational, New Castle

3:30 p.m., April 17 — Phil Wertman Invitational, Grand Junction

Noon, April 24 — Clint Wells Invitational, Craig

8 a.m. and 9 a.m., May 1 and 2 — Western Slope Multi-Leagues Meet, Grand Junction

3 p.m. and 8 a.m., May 8 and 9 — Tiger Invitational, Grand Junction

TBD, May 14 to 16 — Colorado State Track and Field Championships, Lakewood

Moffat County High School track and field junior varsity team schedule

Time(s), Date(s), Event, Location

1 p.m., April 6 — Ned Pollert Freshman/Sophomore Meet, Grand Junction

1 p.m., April 15 — Palisade JV Meet, Grand Junction

1 p.m., May 1 and 2 — Fruita Monument JV Meet, Grand Junction