MERIDIAN - Rocky Mountain High track and field coach Brad Abbott described the finish of the 5A District Three meet as a "coach's dream."
His runners might have categorized it as more of a two-part series.
Part one: Terrifying.
Part two: Exhilarating.
The Rocky girls trailed Mountain View by four points heading into the final event of the day, but the Grizzlies emerged as district champions by winning the 4x400-meter relay in a state-leading time of 3 minutes, 56.62 seconds.
Sophomore Kaylee Oyler, freshmen Faith Dilmore and Loren Cantrill, and senior Paige Dilmore approached the 4x400 with determination. The quartet led from start to finish, and crossed the line more than 4 seconds ahead of second-place Eagle on Friday at Mountain View High.
Mountain View needed to finish third or better to hold on to the team lead, but ended up sixth.
"We briefed them beforehand. We told them what they needed to do," Abbott said. "They knew their job and they did their job."
Said Cantrill, who ran the third leg of the relay: "I was crying, I was so excited."
While it was the first district championship for Rocky's girls, the boys collected their fourth title in a row.
The Grizzlies tallied 139 points, keeping them on target to win a fourth consecutive state title next week. Centennial (91.5) was second, Mountain View (89.5) third and Timberline (72) fourth.
"It's important that we enjoy the moment right now and it's OK to celebrate, but there's a bigger job to do next week," Abbott said.
The state meet for the 5A and 4A classifications is May 16-17 at Dona Larsen Park. The 3A, 2A and 1A schools will compete at Middleton High.
BOISE'S HAMLIN COMPLETES SWEEP
It is such a difficult feat to accomplish that most athletes don't even attempt it.
Boise's Emily Hamlin isn't just any athlete.
The junior won the 3,200, 1,600 and 800 at the district meet, a sweep so rare that the league's coaches were unable to remember the last time it was done by a female runner at the 5A district meet.
"I'll tell you what, she keeps surprising me," Boise coach Cori Mooney said. "I keep telling people she's so tough, she's so strong and she wants it more than anything. Every time I think that she's reached her limit, she does something bigger."
Hamlin won the 3,200 on Thursday in 10 minutes, 54.80 seconds. She opened Friday's competition with a blazing time of 4:55.59 in the 1,600, and still had the legs to finish the 800 in 2:13.73. She owns the state's fastest times this season in all three events, according to athletic.net.
"I wanted it so bad. I kind of wanted redemption from cross country season," Hamlin said. "I didn't have the best cross country season. I trained really hard this winter, and I think it is finally paying off. That's exciting."
NOW THAT'S FAST
On the final day of the district meet, five state-leading marks were set in addition to the girls 4x400. Here is a rundown of those performances:
The boys and girls 400-meter winners showcased their speed. Boise's Madison Lung won the girls race in 57.34 seconds. Meridian's Bryson Stout - last year's state 100- and 200-meter champion - crossed the line in 48.89. Stout also won the 200 in 21.94.
Key to Rocky Mountain's girls title was the success of its relays. Keisha Oliver, Madi Kelly, Bailey Boerner and Noelle Aragon teamed up to win the 4x100 (48.95) and 4x200 (1:42.67).
Cambree Harbaugh of Mountain View improved on her own state-leading mark in the girls long jump. Harbaugh claimed the district title with a leap of 18 feet, 2 inches.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
There were a handful of district finals contested Thursday. Here are the winners who posted state-leading marks on the way to victory:
Rocky Mountain senior Colton Mumm cleared 15-6 in the boys pole vault. Mumm and Kuna's Alex Lawrence are the only pole vaulters to surpass 15 feet this season.
Vallivue senior and Boise State volleyball signee Maddi Osburn matched the top height in the girls high jump by clearing 5-4. Madison's Remi McWhorter, Rigby's Sierra Anderson and Firth's Kayla Jensen also have cleared 5-4 this season.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX