The finish line is in sight for the athletes of Moffat County High School track and field, and they intend to hold back nothing at the most crucial part of the season.
Qualifiers for the Colorado High School Activities Association State Championships were announced this week, and the Bulldogs will be sending 15 competitors in 12 events at the biggest meet of the year Thursday through Saturday in Lakewood.
Senior Riley Allen will be in a trio of events, including the 4x800-meter relay alongside Miki Klimper, Carter Severson and Connor Scranton, the same lineup that placed ninth at state last season, now ranked eighth according to CHSAA heat sheets.
Allen is also seeded fourth in the one-mile run and fifth in the two-mile.
In the 4x400 will be Klimper, Severson, Scranton and Grant Wade, seeded 15th.
Klimper, who earned a 3A Western Slope League title in the 300 hurdles, enters state ranked fourth, while teammate Jared Atkin also made the cut tied for 18th in the event.
Keenan Hildebrandt — the two-time WSL champ in both discus and shot put — will hold down the field events for the boys, ranked third in 3A in shot and second in disc with a toss that won him a new school record.
He also placed third in discus at last year’s state event.
Freshman Stephenie Swindler will make her debut at state in each of the qualifying Bulldog relays, the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800, for the greatest amount of races among girls. Josie Timmer will also compete in three events, including the 4x200 and 4x400, as well as the triple jump, ranked 18th, joining No. 8-seed discus thrower Morgan Nelson representing the field.
The 4x200 team of Swindler, Josie Timmer, Jenna Timmer and Emma Samuelson is seeded 17th, and the 4x800 group of Swindler, Abby Bohne, Liberty Hippely and Mattie Jo Duzik stands at 10th.
Ranked highest among the girls relays at seventh is the 4x400, made up of Swindler, Duzik, Josie Timmer and Samuelson.
Though relay runners don’t want to mess with success too much, they have been making adjustments in some spots.
“We’ve switched up our hand-offs, we’ll be doing blind hand-offs in the 4x2 instead of looking back,” Samuelson said. “We’ll see if it works and helps.”
Samuelson has three gold medals from state across the years, including the 4x100 and 4x200 from her sophomore year and 4x100 as a junior.
Now a senior, her goal is to complete her time with Moffat County track in a memorable way.
“It’s my last state meet, so I really want to push through, give it my best and have fun,” she said.
Moffat County High School state track and field qualifiers
Event — Athlete(s), Seed, Entry Time/Distance
Discus — Keenan Hildebrandt, 2nd, 170’
Shot Put — Keenan Hildebrandt, 3rd, 50’ 6”
300-meter hurdles — Miki Klimper, 4th, 40.41
300-meter hurdles — Jared Atkin, 18th, 42.34
1,600-meter run — Riley Allen, 4th, 4:30.23
3,200-meter run — Riley Allen, 5th, 9:50.16
4x400-meter relay — Miki Klimper/Carter Severson/Connor Scranton/Grant Wade, 15th, 3:31.76
4x800-meter relay — Miki Klimper/Carter Severson/Connor Scranton/Riley Allen, 8th, 8:21.44
Discus — Morgan Nelson, 8th, 109’ 2”
Triple Jump — Josie Timmer, 18th, 33’ 8”
4x200-meter relay — Emma Samuelson/Josie Timmer/Jenna Timmer/Stephenie Swindler, 17th, 1:50.29
4x400-meter relay — Emma Samuelson/Josie Timmer/Mattie Jo Duzik/Stephenie Swindler, 7th, 4:10.21
4x800-meter relay — Abby Bohne/Mattie Jo Duzik/Liberty Hippely/Stephenie Swindler, 10th, 10:18.94
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.