Pinnt breaks MCHS 200 record twice in 1 weekend | CraigDailyPress.com

Pinnt breaks MCHS 200 record twice in 1 weekend

Nate Waggenspack

Kayla Pinnt approaches the finish line with Grand Junction's Jill Payne running neck and neck in the 200-meter finals at the Tiger Invitational on Saturday in Junction. Pinnt tied the MCHS 200 record during the prelims Friday but broke it in the moment pictured here and outleaned Payne at the line to win in 25.18 seconds.

— Since Kayla Pinnt experienced tenderness in her hamstring after spring break, Moffat County track coaches have kept the sophomore's workload light, trying to make sure she stays healthy.

But Pinnt made the most of her one event last weekend at the Tiger Invitational in Grand Junction, breaking another MCHS track record, then breaking it again. Her time of 25.18 seconds in the 200 meters is the fastest ever run by a Bulldog, and she did it despite running into a stiff 2.7 mile per hour wind.

That came after Pinnt already had broken Heather Urbanoski's 14-year-old MCHS record Friday during the preliminary sprints by running a 25.38. But Jill Payne, of Grand Junction, earned the top seed in the finals by running thousandths of a second faster than Pinnt on Friday.

That set her up for a great race Saturday.

"I knew no matter what it would be a great race, but I didn't think I would be able to run that low," she said. "It puts me in a great spot for state."

With Payne in Class 5A, the two sophomores won't compete again this season, which is a shame given the way their 200 went. Pinnt leaned out Payne at the finish line, 25.18 to 25.20, but thought afterward that she had lost.

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"I was upset, so I walked away," she said. "It didn't take them long to look at it and put up the results, so I found out quickly. I was happy then."

It was by far Pinnt's fastest 200 of the season, the fastest run in 3A so far this season and her second Moffat County record of the season, after breaking the 400 record earlier this year.

"That race gave me the mindset I needed going into state," she said, referring to having strong competition in a race and responding. "It will be good for me."

Pinnt wasn't the only one to have a good day at the Tiger Invitational. Fellow sophomore Emily Womble ran her fastest 3,200 of the season by 15 seconds, finishing in 12:22.36. Womble had been on the edge of the top 18 in 3A, barely in the state field, but her time in Junction on Saturday has her comfortably within the field and, now, perhaps even challenging for a podium position.

Freshman Mattie Jo Duzik ran an 800 near 2:30 near the beginning of the season and had been trying to break through the barrier ever since. Her best time had been outside the top 18, but with a 2:25.43, she took second at the meet and ran a top-five time in 3A this season.

"It didn't really feel any different” than other races, Duzik said. "I tried really hard in it, and I think I'm in better shape now after coming off of spring break."

While nonchalant about the way she broke through, Duzik was excited about being a likely state qualifier. She was also part of the 3,200-meter relay team, which in 10:10 set its best time of the season and fourth-best in the state this year.

The boys 1,600 relay team had its fastest race of the year, as well, finishing in 3:36 and putting itself in good position to maintain a qualifying spot. With one more meet until state, the boys' 800 and 1,600 relays, both 10th as of Tuesday, are likely to stay in the top 18. The 400 relay team, currently 15th, should look to drop time in order to stay safe as state qualifiers.

The Bulldogs run at the 3A Western Slope League meet Friday and Saturday in Grand Junction again, their final chance to improve on this season's performances and solidify a spot at state.

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