Moffat County track running smoothly in early season | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County track running smoothly in early season

Huge turnout allows more coaches for track, field events

The Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School track and field program has never done things small, and it’s not about to start this year. track and field program has never done things small, and it's not about to start this year.

Moffat County High School track and field program has never done things small, and it's not about to start this year.

MCHS has one of its biggest turnouts ever this season, with 75 students joining the effort to give the Bulldogs a heavy advantage in points as the schedule progresses. The higher-than-usual tally also allows coaching staff to expand, with Todd Trapp, Lance Scranton, Kip Hafey and David Pressgrove joined by newer recruits Maddy Jourgensen and Jesse LaRose.

Trainer Marshall Kraker, while not an official coach, also advises those in the shot put and discus events.

"It's fun to have a bigger coaching staff just because you feel like you can be more attentive to every athlete and focus on helping them grow when you have more people to bounce ideas off," Pressgrove said. "You can tell that practice has another level."

MCHS competitors have already claimed first-place finishes early in the season, among them Kayla Pinnt, who in her high school career has twice won the state championship in both the 100- and 200-meter dash races and was part of the gold medalist 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams last May.

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Fellow relay runners Ary Shaffer, Selena Hernandez and Emma Samuelson are also back in action to defend their titles. The three of them also competed in an indoor meet at Western State Colorado University during the winter to stay in running condition.

Keeping the speed up is part of the battle, Samuelson said, but staying in sync with one another is just as crucial.

"We just need to stay positive, work as a team and have each other's backs," she said.

Moffat County girls were among the top five 3A teams in running site MileSplit's preview of the yearrunning site MileSplit’s preview of the year..

running site MileSplit's preview of the year.

The Bulldog boys' long-distance runners have already shown themselves to be a force to be reckoned with, and with increased numbers on the guys side, the team has a lot of options in utilizing athletic abilities.

"Our guys, we're just going to keep improving, a lot of talent in those younger two classes that complement our juniors and seniors, and they've been working really hard so far," Pressgrove said. "Our times, our throws, our jumps, it seems like kids are starting where they left off last year."

Age-wise, track and field is well-rounded between many freshmen, sophomores and juniors making their mark and a lot of seniors ready to make their last season unforgettable.

Seniors on the team include Shaffer, Hernandez, Pinnt, Allie Dilldine, Emily Womble, Morgan Lawton, Leah Camilletti, Charli Earle, Shandon Hadley, Diego Quezada, Stelios Peroulis, Isaac Chacon and Brandon Hayes, as well as Steven Walls, who attends practices despite recovering from knee surgery.

Maddy Olinger is also an upperclassmen, seeking a trip to state in her final year.

Specializing in the shot put and discus, she'll be turning her attention entirely to the field rather than previous seasons when she also joined running events. A friendly competition in the throwing events between Olinger, Earle and Lawton inspires each of them to do better.

"I really want to make it count," Olinger said. "I really want me, Charli and Morgan to all go to state, I have high expectations of all of us."

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.