5A state track and field: Treasure Valley athletes win 30 individual, two team championships

rroberts@idahostatesman.comMay 19, 2013 

— Brittany Rawlins collapsed in a pile at the side of the track after finishing the 4x400 relay. She stayed there for a moment - untouched and unmoving - as teammates closed in around her.

With their help, the Eagle High senior emerged from the pile with a smile on her face, having assured her Mustangs the team championship at the 5A state track and field meet Saturday on their home track.

The Mustangs entered the final event of the day with a three-point lead on two-time defending champion Mountain View. One little mistake and victory would be lost.

"It was definitely very intimidating. I knew that everyone was behind me," Rawlins said. "We needed to beat Mountain View to win this, and I gave it everything I had. It was a nail-biter, a tenth of a second, but we pulled through."

Rawlins crossed the line in 3 minutes, 58.31 seconds to give Eagle a final team score of 102 points. Mountain View was second with 93 and Coeur d'Alene third with 61.

Rawlins finished the day with three victories, winning the 100 (11.95), 4x100 (48.14) and 4x400. Teammate Allison Jeffries joined Rawlins in the trifecta with her wins in the 100 hurdles (14.12), pole vault (12-0) and 4x100.

"We were real spooked there for a long time. Our girls were chasing Mountain View almost the whole meet," Eagle coach Greg Harm said. "We felt confident, but Mountain View threw up a lot of quality points."

The boys team title didn't have the same drama, but it did have dominance, as Rocky Mountain collected its third championship in a row with 156 points. Centennial (92) took second, followed by Eagle (68) and Boise (54).

The Grizzlies got individual victories from Boise State football recruits Khalil Oliver (110 hurdles) and Eli McCullough (shot put), and Weber State football signee Adam Lewis (discus). The Grizzlies also swept the relays to keep the streak alive.

"It was a roller coaster. A lot of our kids put forth their best effort, but fell a little bit short of what they expected to do," Rocky Mountain coach Brad Abbott said. "But the fellas, especially in the relays, they came together when they needed to and that's what made the difference for me."


It is a feat so rare in the 5A classification that most coaches didn't think it could still be done.

Boise's Thomas Rigby wasn't so sure, either.

After winning the 3,200 on Friday, Rigby followed up with victories in the 1,600 and 800 to claim the first distance sweep in the 5A boys classification since Spencer Hill of Boise won all three races in 1992.

Even more impressive, Rigby saved his strongest performance for his last, defending his title in the 800 in an overall record of 1:50.80.

"This is only the second time this has happened, to the best of my knowledge," said 5A/4A meet director Dave Mills of the distance trifecta at the 5A level.

Rigby, who will run for Stanford this fall, had to come from behind in all three of his races.

"It wasn't even about time; I just wanted to win," Rigby said. "It was just my day today was really all it was. I haven't run like that in a long time, so it was nice to get the monkey off my back."


Most of the time, Josie Lawrence has a smile on her face. Catch her during the triple jump, and it's a different story.

"I am so in the zone. If anyone gets near the track I am like, 'Please step back, I am about to kill you,' " Lawrence said. "But it is just in the moment because I psych myself up for the jump."

Lawrence had no trouble finding her groove Saturday, flying to an overall record distance of 39 feet, 9 inches.

She inherited that skill from her father, Wendell Lawrence, a Boise State Hall of Famer who was an Olympian in the triple jump for the Bahamas in 1992.

"He was the first one to introduce me to the triple jump. He's taught me everything I know. I wouldn't be this good without him," Lawrence said. "Sometimes, he gets more excited about my meets than I do."


Eagle's James Heckendorn broke the oldest remaining overall record in the books with his win in the boys 400.

Heckendorn's time of 47.97 was a personal best and good enough to surpass Dean Sword's 1984 time of 48.03. It also was the second straight state title for the Harvard-bound senior in the event.

"This feels great. It's something that doesn't happen every day," Heckendorn said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I kind of made the most of it. I am really happy with that."


Individuals and teams from District Three accounted for 30-of-36 winners in the 5A boys and girls events at the two-day meet. Here are the rest of those winners from Saturday's competition:

• Rocky Mountain freshman Kaylee Oyler won the 400 in 57.40.

• Boise sophomore Emily Hamlin won a sprint to the finish in the girls 800 (2:18.74).

• Mountain View junior Sam McKinnon broke through in the mile on her third try with a winning time of 5:01.87.

• Eagle's 4x100 relay of Jeffries, Rawlins, Kinsey Keene and Kylee Coffin improved upon their overall state record from last season with a 48.14.

• Coffin, Keene, Maddy Dustin and Hailey Payne won a photo finish in the 4x200 (1:44.79).

• Capital sophomore Nicole White claimed the discus with a throw of 128-11.

• Meridian junior Bryson Stout - who proudly rocked a mullet - swept the 100 (10.82) and 200 (21.67).

• Rocky Mountain's Kevin Wang, Isaiah Johnson, Kade Ready and Jacob Seward won the 4x100 (42.60).

• Johnson, Ready, Levi Hagen and Josh Wallin added a victory in the 4x200 (1:28.47).

• Jordon Wallin held off 400 champ Heckendorn to win the 4x400 (3:19) alongside teammates Justin Ross, Ian Cavey and brother Josh Wallin.

• Centennial senior Jake Gyer took home the gold in the triple jump (46-7.5).

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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