LAKEWOOD — Runners heeded the heat and wind on the final day of the state track and field championships, but that didn't stop Kayla Pinnt from destroying a meet record in the Class 3A girls 400-meter dash — a race she ran only two times this season and wasn't expecting to win.
The Moffat County senior wanted to walk away from her last track meet with two state titles. Instead, she swept all four of her track events, defending back-to-back state titles in the 100 and 200, anchoring her relay team to a first-place finish and breezing through the 400 in a 3A meet-record time of 55.01 seconds that broke the record of 55.94 set in 2008 by Middle Park's Samathan Berggren.
"That was so amazing I cried," said Pinnt's mother, Cherisse Murphy. "When I saw Kayla's mark on the board, I just started balling. I didn't think she could get the meet record. I knew she could, but I also knew she was so tired from earlier races. It was hot and windy and thought there was no way."
Pinnt capped a legendary high school career inspired by her mother, a former sprint star for Class 2A Hayden who was offered a full-ride scholarship to compete in the 100 and 200 for the University of Kansas. Pinnt won seven individual state titles and three relay titles, and she holds multiple school records: 100 (12.01) , 200 (24.52), 400 (55.01) and the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. She never finished lower than second in the 100 or 200 at the state meet.Advertisement
Starting on the dirt tracks of Billings, Mont., Pinnt found her calling as a sprinter in the fifth grade at the Big Sky State Games, which are Junior Olympics events. After she beat an eighth-grader for a victory in the 100 and also won the 200, she and her mother knew track was her sport and started training.
"My mom has been coaching me and helping with my blocks since I was in sixth grade, and it all finally paid off," Pinnt said.
Murphy has missed only one of Pinnt's track meets, and that was because of bad weather. She will have the opportunity to continue attending Pinnt's meets throughout her college career.
The sprinter will enroll at Colorado State, the two-time reigning outdoor Mountain West women's champion. She was recruited by the Rams to compete in the 100 and 200.
"I'm very honored to run with Leah Fair and Emily Romo," Pinnt said of two CSU record holders. "They are two amazing runners and I'm hoping they can help teach me a lot."
As Pinnt departs from prep track, she passes off the baton to her younger sister. Moffat County freshman Quinn Pinnt ran the second leg of the 3A-winning 4x100 relay team. Quinn didn't qualify for the 100 and 200 finals, but she is part of a family of sprinters and has three years to follow in Kayla's footsteps.
Pinnt's next stop is representing the state in the 100 and 200 at the Great Southwest Track and Field Classic in Albuquerque. After that, she will compete in barreling and pole-bending rodeo events until Aug 18, when she dashes off to CSU.Highlights
Rock Canyon sophomore Emily Sloan won the Class 5A 100- and 300-meter hurdles, followed in both events by Mountain Range junior Zoe Gil bertson.
Faith Christian junior Sarah Yocum won the 3A 100 and 300 hurdles and finished second in the 200 and 400. She set a 300 hurdles record in the preliminary round.
Kim sophomore Zariah Mason topped the 1A 100 with a meet-record time of 12.52, topping the 12.72 mark she set last year, and set a state meet-record in the 200 at 25.81, topping the 2011 record of 26.62, set by Ashley Atkin of Fleming.
Grandview junior Brie Oakley won the 5A 1,600 after tripping on Horizon senior Megan Mooney in the first corner of the last lap of the race, and Mooney was disqualified. Oakley had an amazing comeback sprint.
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Discovery Canyon sophomore Lauren Gale swept the 4A 100, 200 and 400.
The Classical Academy senior Andrea Willis set a state meet-record in the 4A pole vault by clearing 13 feet, 4 inches. She owns the all-class record of 13-9 and attempted to vault 13-10.
Sangre de Cristo senior Sarah Storey topped a state meet record she set last year in the 1A long jump (16-10) by leaping 17-6½. Eaton junior Tarynn Sieg set a state meet record in the Class 3A girls shot put.
CORRECTION: This story previously stated Colorado State University was the reigning outdoor Mountain West champion for both men and women; the women have won back-to-back titles, but the CSU men won in 2015 and Air Force men won in 2016.
Morgan Dzakowic: 303-954-1275, firstname.lastname@example.org or @morgandzak
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