2014 Yampa Valley Athlete of the Year
As a junior, Lauren Samuelson is one of just a few members of the Moffat County girls track and field team who has been there to see the team transform.
“No girls went to state except maybe a thrower my freshman year,” she said. “We definitely didn’t have any runners.”
Last year, the Bulldogs sent several individuals and relay teams to the state meet but didn’t pick up many high finishes, aside from Kayla Pinnt’s runner-up spots in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. This year, the team took another huge step forward.
The improvement of returning track athletes and the arrival of other talented teammates made the Bulldogs one of the most dangerous sprinting teams in Class 3A this year. Along with Pinnt’s state championships in the 100 and 200 this season, the girls’ relays were stronger. The 4x100 placed second at state, and the 4x200 was third.
But in 2014, Moffat County also showcased talent in a wider variety of events. The Bulldogs’ 4x800 relay team finished five spots higher than a year ago, while two girls qualified in the open 800 to state. Emily Womble placed seventh in the 3,200-meter run. Ary Shaffer and Emily White, both sophomores, each qualified for state in field events.
“Everybody clicked this season,” Samuelson said. “We’ve definitely improved a ton. I think we have more drive because everyone is pushing each other.”
With just one senior graduating from the team this year, the future remains bright for Moffat County girls track. But the Bulldogs already delivered on their potential in 2014.
“There’s such a large amount of talent, and it’s kids who work hard,” coach Todd Trapp said. “We knew we’d have good depth in our sprints, but all those teams came together at the right time.”