Another broken record sets stage for Moffat County track with state qualifiers in 18 events
Having crossed the finish line for the regular season, Moffat County track and field athletes are gearing up for one final meet, and hitting some of their best results yet bodes well for how high on the podium they might climb.
MCHS runners, jumpers and throwers will head to the 3A CHSAA State Championships this Thursday through Saturday at Lakewood’s Jeffco Stadium. As usual, a bevy of Bulldogs will be in the action with entrants qualifying in 18 total events, nine each on the boys and girls sides.
Bulldog boys will be entering state as the top seed in two events, one of which saw history made this weekend. During the Dennis Teeters Tiger Invite in Grand Junction, the foursome of Zeke Cordero, Andrew Duran, Jimi Jimenez and Evan Atkin won the 4×200 relay with a 1:29.69 that smoked the previous school record.
“That 4×2 record was pretty impressive,” coach Todd Trapp said. “We had a goal going into that race to break that 16-year-old record.”
The old mark of 1:31.09 was set in 2007 by Josh Classen, Colton Conrad, Sam Weeldreyer and Andrew Drake.
The Dogs eked past Harrison by 0.02 seconds to attain the No. 1 ranking in 3A.
In a solo race, Atkin also stands as the top seed, with a time of 38.9 seconds, in the 300 hurdles — one of two records he’s broken this spring.
MoCo runners will be handling the baton in every single state relay race — boys and girls 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800 and girls 800 sprint medley — as well as numerous other segments of state.
Cordero and Duran each made the cut in the open 200, as did Sadie Smilanich for the girls 200, while Owen Gifford looks to place in the 800 run.
As far as field events, Hudson Jones returns to the state triple jump, as does cousin Alexis Jones in the high jump.
Ian Hafey and Alexis Herndon will represent the MoCo throwers in the rings for discus and shot put, respectively.
Though the Tiger Invite saw only one MoCo win, the elite meet that brought in 25 schools of all size classifications helped push the Bulldogs to their best.
The majority of state qualifiers’ results came from excelling in times and distances at Tiger.
Trapp said the high competition that the penultimate meet provides helps athletes focus on doing well and hitting their personal record regardless of how they place, with plenty of new bests even for those that didn’t quite make it to state.
“The team achieved some great PRs, which is what we always look for at the end of the season,” Trapp said.
MCHS track and field state qualifiers
200-meter dash — Zeke Cordero, 15th seed; Andrew Duran, 17th
300-meter hurdles — Evan Atkin, 1st
800-meter run — Owen Gifford, 12th
Triple jump — Hudson Jones, 10th
Discus — Ian Hafey, 13th
4×100-meter relay (17th); 4×200-meter relay (1st); 4×400-meter relay (2nd); 4×800-meter relay (17th)
200-meter dash — Sadie Smilanich, 10th
400-meter dash — Halle Hamilton, 3rd
High jump —Alexis Jones, 17th
Shot put — Alexis Herndon, 10th
4×100-meter relay (12th); 4×200-meter relay (9th); 4×400-meter relay (8th); 4×800-meter relay (17th); 800-meter sprint medley relay (15th)
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