EAGLE - Bishop Kelly throws coach Justin Lewis laughs when he thinks about the way senior Neal Murphy looked in the discus just a few months ago.
"At the beginning of the season he would agree with me, he looked terrible," Lewis said. "When I first stepped out there with him I was like, 'Whoa, this is not good.' "
Since he first took up the discus midway through the 2012 season, Murphy has gone from "terrible" to terrific, culminating with a win in the event at the 4A state track and field meet Friday at Eagle High.
Murphy threw the disc 151 feet, 2 inches to edge second-place Brett Thompson (150-06) of Minico.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Murphy didn't let bigger competitors like Thompson, a 6-5, 315-pounder signed to the Idaho State football team, and Rigby's JonRyheem Peoples, a 6-6, 305-pounder headed to BYU, intimidate him.
"Size doesn't matter in discus. It's technique and who performs when they need to," Murphy said. "I just went out there and did my stuff and left it up to them to do theirs."
Murphy could add another first-place medal Saturday in the shot put, where he is the No. 1 seed with his district championship throw of 55-7.5. He finished fifth at state last season.
RECORD FALLS IN 100 HURDLE PRELIMS
Facing her toughest competition of the season, Rigby freshman Elsja Mecham found another gear.
Mecham won her preliminary heat of the girls 100 hurdles in 14.66 seconds, surpassing the previous classification record of 14.99, set by Wood River's Delaney Fox in 2009.
Running right alongside Mecham was Bishop Kelly's Mikaela Sawyer. The sophomore also dipped below the record with her second-place time of 14.71.
The two could go even faster Saturday when they square off for a second straight day in the finals.
Mecham is off to an impressive start in her first state meet. She also was the top qualifier in the 200 (25.22) and 400 (59.27).
WIND COSTS JEROME SENIOR 100 RECORD
Tyler Branch was one of just two runners in the boys 100 meters to run sub-11 seconds in the preliminaries.
Branch's time of 10.74 bettered the classification record of 10.78, which was held by Columbia's Jake Arslanian since 2011. However, Branch's time will not go in the record books because it was wind-aided.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX