Nearing the finish line: Moffat County runners Logan Hafey, Bree Meats sign for college sports
For the Craig Press
Moffat County High School’s running program has sent many young athletes on to the next level of sports and life, and two more Bulldogs this week proved they’re ready to go the distance all the more physically and mentally.
MCHS seniors Logan Hafey and Bree Meats inked their letters of intent during a Wednesday afternoon signing ceremony to attend and compete for Colorado Mesa University and Chadron State College, respectively.
The next big leap
Hafey will be move from Bulldog blue to the maroon and gold of the NCAA Division II Mavericks as he competes in track and field at CMU in Grand Junction.
“They said they really wanted to build up their mid-distance, so I’ll be running hurdles mainly and hopefully get on some of their relays,” Hafey said. “I checked out a handful of schools, but Mesa was the best option for me. The coaches pursued me really well, which I liked, so that was my ultimate decision that I really wanted a school that wanted me.”
He added that, while he briefly considered some other colleges, such as University of Northern Colorado, the quality of the Maverick track team gave him confidence.
“Mesa has a really good track program that’s been built up the past couple years. They’re competing, that’s for sure,” he said.
While at Moffat County, Hafey was part of Bulldog cross-country as a freshman and sophomore before focusing on football in the fall as well as winter basketball leading into spring track.
“Having that diversity and doing multiple things really helped me to learn new things more easily in track and adapt to anything that came my way,” he said. “Track was definitely the No. 1 sport. I really love track above all other sports, it’s just something different for me.”
Track is also where he’s seen his highest athletic achievements so far. In his junior season, he earned league titles in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. At the state championships, he earned a 3A state title in the 300, breaking the MCHS record during the preliminary race and outdoing himself again in the finals at a time of 39.26 seconds to take the gold medal.
This coming spring, he hopes to lower his time all the more to set a state meet record, and ideally have younger brother Ian — who placed fifth in the 300 hurdles at state — as well as teammate Evan Atkin by his side.
“It’d be really cool to have Moffat County all in the top three on the podium,” he said.
Competing alongside Ian in track and football — as well as twin brother Ethan in the latter — and joined by parents Jill and Kip during his signing, Hafey noted his thanks to the family who has supported his athletic endeavors as well as the coaches he’s had across multiple sports, who have prepared him for the upcoming changes.
“It goes from the 300 to the 400 hurdles in college, and in the 110, the hurdles are even higher. I’m excited for it, I’m ready for the next challenge,” he said. “Training will be a lot more intense, and they’ll have a lot more lifting incorporated with running workouts. I don’t know how that will look yet, but I know there will be a lot more.”
While at Mesa, Hafey plans to undergo medical studies as he balances academics and sports.
“I’m going to go into the nursing program, they have a really good program, so I’m excited for that,” he said. “It’s been one of my goals for a really long time, so I’m glad that it’s coming true.”
New paths, new discoveries
Hafey won’t be the only member of the MCHS Class of 2022 who will be multitasking by pursuing running and higher education.
Meats will compete in both cross-country and track with the Chadron State Eagles of Chadron, Nebraska.
She noted that she had looked into several programs in the Midwest before making a decision.
“I just did one tour there, and I looked at a couple other schools, but that one fit me best academically and athletically. There were a couple others in Nebraska, like Hastings and Kansas and a small school in Omaha that I considered,” Meats said.
Joined by parents Roy and Heidi during her signing, she added that the size of Chadron was a selling point for her, with a student body of about 3,000.
“I did want to go to a smaller school. I wanted to be close enough to home but far enough at the same time,” she said.
With the D-II Eagles, she anticipates seeing some longer races than the standard 5K for high school cross-country races, and Chadron coaches will see where she’s the best fit as far as track.
“They do things a tad bit differently for college stuff, but it’ll still probably be the distance stuff,” Meats said.
Meats competed with the Bulldog cross-country team at state in both her sophomore and junior seasons, as well as running in the 4×800 relay group at the track state finals.
While the competition element of being a harrier is something she appreciates, she’s also come to find peace and camaraderie in the activity she’s done since middle school.
“Running became kind of a stress reliever for me, and I just continued to do it,” she said. “What I enjoy most is the team aspect, spending time with my friends.”
Distance running also helped guide her on the path to professional pursuits.
“I was injured my whole freshman year of track. I had some issues with tendonitis in my hips,” she said. “Our athletic trainer, Matt, has helped me with a bunch of stuff and seeing the medical side of all that. Being injured kind of made me want to go into that field.”
Meats said she plans to study biology and radiology in college, potentially becoming a radiology technician.
“I’ve always been interested in stuff like that. I looked at physical therapy a whole bunch and also occupational therapy, but I liked radiology the most,” she said.
Meats said she’s looking forward to the new chapter ahead of her and exploring new parts of the country, though in true distance runner style, she also wants to pace herself in enjoying her senior year.
“It’s gone by really quickly so far,” she said.
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