The state of things: Moffat County track hits new heights with second-place girls finish | CraigDailyPress.com

The state of things: Moffat County track hits new heights with second-place girls finish

Bulldogs win four state titles, Kayla Pinnt breaks state meet record in 400 dash

Athletes and coaches for the Moffat County High School girls track and field team stand atop the podium at the end of the State Championships, holding up a runner-up trophy after placing second overall in the 3A class. Bulldog girls won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dash, as well as the 4x100 relay and placed in numerous other events.

Lakewood — Todd Trapp’s athletes have pushed through rain and snow, wind and chills the past few months, but the last day of the season was a sunny one in more ways than just the reading on the thermometer as the track and field coach saw the best overall result in his time at — Todd Trapp's athletes have pushed through rain and snow, wind and chills the past few months, but the last day of the season was a sunny one in more ways than just the reading on the thermometer as the track and field coach saw the best overall result in his time at Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School..

— Todd Trapp's athletes have pushed through rain and snow, wind and chills the past few months, but the last day of the season was a sunny one in more ways than just the reading on the thermometer as the track and field coach saw the best overall result in his time at Moffat County High School.

The MCHS girls team finished in second place as a whole at the 3A CHSAA State Championships Saturday afternoon to complete a banner season, claiming four titles and placing in many more events.

"Huge accomplishment for these girls, they've been working since they were freshmen to get to this level," Trapp said. "There were definitely some tough days, and they knew state is what we were gearing for."

The Day of the Great Pinnt Sprints

In her last four races as a Bulldog, MCHS senior Kayla Pinnt was prepared to make it count, but she wasn't expecting each part of the day to have so many different dynamics.

The day started with Kayla's third straight championship in the 100-meter dash, an all-time best of 11.88 seconds in the Thursday preliminaries leading her to set her sights on conquering the state meet record of 11.82.

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The elation of another win changed in a split-second as her face fell upon seeing the results board that her time was 12.22, a 3.4-factor wind blowing against everyone.

Another gold medal was a consolation, but missing out on the goal she'd set for herself kept her spirits a little dampened as she walked off the track.

"I really wanted that record," she said.

An hour later, however, that frown was upside-down and then some as the Bulldog speedster returned to compete in the 400 dash, her first time taking on the quarter-mile race at the state level. And, whether it was falling short of the expectations she had for herself in the previous race or the impetus of a whole new challenge, everything went right as Kayla leapt off the starting blocks with resolve and didn't slow down until she had clocked in at 55.01 seconds, a new mark for Moffat County as well as a 3A girls state meet record.

"I wanted that race more than anything I've ever wanted anything," she said, adding that the presence of Faith Christian's Sarah Yocum was a motivator. "I knew I would have to give it every ounce I had to get there."

It was being the runner-up in both the 100 and 200 dash at state as a freshman that incentivized her to keep pushing herself, she said.

"It made me realize everything wasn't going to be handed to me," she said.

Saturday afternoon was much the same as it was one year before, as she breezed through the 200 dash for another three-peat championship. The difference — the following boys 200 race included her boyfriend, Shandon Hadley, his first time in the finals for any of the dash events, and no sooner had he walked onto the grass field after placing eighth had she flung her arms around him.

"I'm very proud of her, she's awesome," he said, after they were both awarded their medals.

After nailing down three of the seven individual state titles she's accomplished since her sophomore year, Kayla had one more item on her checklist near the end of the afternoon: the 4×100 relay, a victory in which would be a repeat win from the season before, her third title in relays and an even 10 in her overall total.

More importantly, though, it was the event shared with the teammate closest to her — younger sister Quinn Pinnt. While the two siblings did not share a hand-off — Quinn running the second leg and Kayla the last 100 meters — the older sister was racing not for herself but for the girl who shares her surname.

"The only thing that was running through my mind was, 'Get Quinn on top of the podium,' because I wanted her to experience that," she said. "If I could do anything for that girl, I would. I wanted it so bad for her and know how it feels to be a state champion."

Starter Emma Samuelson handed off to Quinn who passed the baton to Ary Shaffer, and once it found its way into the hands of Kayla, the anchor used everything left in her tank to beat everyone around her to the finish line one final time as a Bulldog, recording 50.03 seconds.

The sport won't end with the weekend, as Kayla has only a brief break before the 41st annual Great Southwest Track and Field Classic in June in Albuquerque, an invite-only event. This fall, she'll start down the path of college sports at Colorado State University, but she won't forget all the support of family and friends in Craig.

"My mom and everyone have been training me for this moment for when I'm a senior," she said. "It's been a great ride, my community, my team and Shandon have made me feel like a celebrity in my own town."

Teamwork

As many times as the name Kayla Pinnt was announced Saturday, she was far from the only Moffat County runner to do great things, which she is the first to recognize.

Alongside her in the 100 and 200 dash was Selena Hernandez, who placed third and fifth, respectively in the finals. In the record-shattering 400, Shaffer took fifth on the podium, hitting a personal best of one minute, 0.87 seconds, the fifth-best time ever for MCHS girls.

Still, Shaffer said she understands being overshadowed by her teammate.

"(Kayla) deserves all of it, she's worked so hard, and she deserves all the gratification," she said. "We're all so proud of her."

In addition to being part of the champion 4×100 relay, Shaffer also was out in the field Saturday, looking to place for the second year in a row in the long jump, though what she thought was her best attempt wound up being a scratch, finishing 14th at 15 feet, 2.5 inches.

"You can't always have a good day for everything," she shrugged.

Hernandez placed fifth in the finals of the 100 hurdles at 15.78, barely missing beating her own personal best.

Hernandez and Shaffer, both seniors, will both be headed for college track as well, Hernandez at University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and Shaffer at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.

"I'm proud of what our whole team has done, and I'm really excited to see what everybody does from here," Shaffer said.

The day ended with the 4×400, in which Samuelson, Mattie Jo Duzik — winner of eighth place in the 1,600 run earlier that day — Josie Timmer and Madysen Cramer took seventh.

While the girls team will be losing several seniors, juniors Samuelson and Duzik, sophomore Timmer and freshmen Cramer and Quinn Pinnt and more of the younger ranks will be back in full form next year.

"We'll work hard this summer, and when Kayla comes back from college, I know she'll help me even more, help me become better," Quinn said. "Kayla and Ary pushed us so much over the season, and we got so much better."

Bulldog boys go all out

At No. 25 in 3A, the MCHS boys team wasn't able to hoist a trophy at the end of the day Saturday like their female counterparts, but the overall results saw a boost from the previous year, in which only one member scored any points at state.

In addition to placing in discus and the 4×800 relay earlier in the meet, Bulldog boys boasted two more on the podium Saturday, with senior Hadley in eighth in the 200 at 23.34, also hitting a new best in the 100 dash prelims Friday, narrowly missing the opportunity to be in both finals with his girlfriend.

"We wanted both, but at least I qualified in one," he said.

Hadley's cousin, Mikinzie Klimper, also embarked on the finals in the 300 hurdles Saturday, placing ninth at 43.20, a time past his best reached in the prelims, which he attributed to a couple hops that slowed him down somewhat.

"Coming up on the first hurdle I wasn't striding out like I usually do and some of my steps were off," he said, noting he jumped from a different leg. "I feel like 300 is one of the tougher races because you're going all out, but you also have to integrate getting over something and get a fast time."

After joining the 4×800 relay, freshman Carter Severson had his first foray into individual state races with the 1,600, starting strong but falling back a bit in the final laps to end it 16th.

"It's definitely a lot different with 18 people out there instead of nine," he said.

In the field, Eddie Smercina made strides in the long jump, his second year at state in the event. Last season saw him qualify only to scratch on all his attempts, though he shook off his nerves this time and finished 15th at 19 feet, 10.25 inches.

"It's just competition, all you can do is your best and that's what everyone's doing," he said.

As the junior heads into his senior year, he'll be using the summer to prepare for football, basketball and track alike, all of which feed into each other with training.

With the track season over in its entirety, it's been another great year with more in store in the years to come for all the athletes who will be returning, Trapp said.

"They're getting more competitive, ready to grow," he said.

Moffat County track and field full results from 3A CHSAA State Championships:

Athlete(s) — Time/Distance, PlaceAthlete(s) — Time/Distance, Place

Athlete(s) — Time/Distance, Place

GirlsGirls

Girls

100-meter dash100-meter dash

100-meter dash

Kayla Pinnt — 12.22, 1

Selena Hernandez — 13.17, 3

Quinn Pinnt — 13.32, 16

100-meter hurdles100-meter hurdles

100-meter hurdles

Selena Hernandez — 15.78, 5

200-meter dash200-meter dash

200-meter dash

Kayla Pinnt — 24.77, 1

Selena Hernandez — 26.57, 6

Quinn Pinnt — 28.24, 17

400-meter dash finals400-meter dash finals

400-meter dash finals

Kayla Pinnt — 55.01, 1

Ary Shaffer — 1:00.87, 5

800-meter run800-meter run

800-meter run

Mattie Jo Duzik — 2:24.19, 7

1,600-meter run1,600-meter run

1,600-meter run

Mattie Jo Duzik — 5:23.73, 8

3,200-meter run3,200-meter run

3,200-meter run

Emily Womble — 12:14.51, 8

4×100-meter relay4×100-meter relay

4×100-meter relay

Emma Samuelson/Quinn Pinnt/Ary Shaffer/Kayla Pinnt — 50.03, 1

4×200-meter relay4×200-meter relay

4×200-meter relay

Emma Samuelson/Quinn Pinnt/Josie Timmer/Selena Hernandez — 1:47.52, 5

4×400-meter relay4×400-meter relay

4×400-meter relay

Emma Samuelson/Mattie Jo Duzik/Josie Timmer/Madysen Cramer — 4:14.05, 7

4×800-meter relay4×800-meter relay

4×800-meter relay

Ary Shaffer/Madysen Cramer/Allie Dilldine/Mattie Jo Duzik — 9:59.32, 2

Long jumpLong jump

Long jump

Ary Shaffer — 15' 2.5", 14

DiscusDiscus

Discus

Charli Earle — 109' 5", 6

Morgan Lawton — 100' 4", 13

The team placed second overall.The team placed second overall.

The team placed second overall.

BoysBoys

Boys

100-meter dash100-meter dash

100-meter dash

Shandon Hadley — 11.43, 12

200-meter dash 200-meter dash

200-meter dash

Shandon Hadley — 23.34, 8

300-meter hurdles300-meter hurdles

300-meter hurdles

Mikinzie Klimper — 43.20, 9

1,600-meter run1,600-meter run

1,600-meter run

Carter Severson — 4:40.19, 16

4×100-meter relay4×100-meter relay

4×100-meter relay

Eddie Smercina/Victor Silva/Elias Peroulis/Kaden Hafey — 46.44, 16

4×200-meter relay4×200-meter relay

4×200-meter relay

Shandon Hadley/Victor Silva/Kaden Hafey/Eddie Smercina — 1:34.45, 14

4×400-meter relay4×400-meter relay

4×400-meter relay

Shandon Hadley/Connor Scranton/Mikinzie Klimper/Kaden Hafey — 3:36.91, 14

4×800-meter relay4×800-meter relay

4×800-meter relay

Riley Allen/Carter Severson/Mikinzie Klimper/Connor Scranton — 8:28.53, 9

Long jumpLong jump

Long jump

Eddie Smercina — 19' 10.25", 15

DiscusDiscus

Discus

Keenan Hildebrandt — 146' 11", 3

Shot putShot put

Shot put

Keenan Hildebrandt — 38' 3.5", 18

The team placed 25th overall.The team placed 25th overall.

The team placed 25th overall.

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.