Rocky Mountain boys win fourth straight Bandanna Invitational

rroberts@idahostatesman.comApril 21, 2013 

MERIDIAN - The Rocky Mountain High boys track and field team is starting to dominate the spring season.

The Grizzlies won 11-of-18 events to wrap up their fourth consecutive team title at the two-day Bandanna Invitational on Saturday at Mountain View High.

Save for a disqualification in the 4x200, the Grizzlies also swept the relays to win by 107.5 points over Centennial.

The Grizzlies own 11 of the top performances in the state this spring, and appear to be the clear favorites to win the 5A state championship for the third year in a row.

"I am one of the luckiest coaches in the state to have the talent that I have and to be surrounded with the kind of coaching staff that knows how to mold that talent," Rocky Mountain coach Brad Abbott said.

Rocky athletes established six Bandanna and/or state-best marks during the two-day meet, surpassing their winning team total from last year by nearly 60 points.

"The coaches definitely help. They kind of talk us up," said junior Jordon Wallin, who won the 1,600 and ran legs on the winning 4x800 and 4x400 relays. "Everything that they say makes sense, and it builds up our confidence even more."

The Mountain View girls joined Rocky Mountain at the top of the podium for the fourth year in a row. Led by Andrea Pikes' sweep of the 100 and 200, the Mavericks finished with 137 points, 50 ahead of Bishop Kelly.

SATURDAY'S TOP PERFORMANCES

• Meridian senior Lila Klopfenstein became just the fourth Idaho high school female to run the 1,600 in less than 5 minutes with her winning time of 4 minutes, 59.57 seconds. She joins Bishop Kelly grad Emily Nist (2012) and Boise graduates Dana Morgan (2006) and Jacque Sahlberg (2007) as the only ones to accomplish the feat. "It's surreal. It really is. I've worked for a really long time, and finally it's paying off in my races. That's exciting," said Klopfenstein, who has committed to the College of Idaho.

• Rocky Mountain senior Adam Lewis posted the top mark in the boys discus this season with his winning throw of 175 feet, 2 inches. He finished third at state last season.

• Khalil Oliver of Rocky Mountain improved his state-leading mark in the triple jump with a winning distance of 45-1.

• Rocky senior Josh Wallin bumped up his state-best time in the 400 with a 48.44 to finish - more than 1 second ahead of his nearest competitor.

• The Grizzlies wrapped up the day with a record-setting performance in the 4x400 relay. Justin Ross, Ian Cavey, Jordon Wallin and Josh Wallin won in 3:22.29 - a Bandanna record, but about a half-second shy of their personal best.

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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