With 164.5 points, the Bishop Kelly High girls nearly doubled the point total of their closest competitor in winning a second straight state title in 4A track and field last season.
Now that runner-up Rigby has moved up to 5A, the Knights’ path to a three-peat appears to be a little easier.
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The same can’t be said for the BK boys, who joined their female counterparts at the top of the podium in 2016. The Knights lost several state champions to graduation and could face a strong challenge from 4A Southern Idaho Conference rival and 2014 champion Skyview.
Here are some of the top athletes who will help shape the 4A SIC season this spring (all rankings are based on athletic.net’s overall performance lists, which do not include hand-timed results).
GIRLS TO WATCH
Auby Barr, Skyview: The senior will try for her fourth consecutive state championship in the pole vault and attempt to defend her title in the long jump. Barr is tied for third overall and first in the 4A classification with a clearance of 11 feet in the pole vault this season.
Lita Forse, Caldwell: She led the state in 2016 with a throw of 45-5.5 in the shot put, winning the event at state and adding a fourth-place showing in the discus. In February, the senior won the shot put at the Simplot Games in Pocatello. The Washington State signee is ranked No. 1 in shot (41-2) and discus (127-5) in 2017.
Carly Heindel, Middleton: She made a splash in her state meet debut as a freshman, winning the 300 hurdles and taking third in the 100 hurdles. The sophomore ranks third overall — and second in the classification — in the 100 hurdles (16.07) and fourth in the 300 hurdles (47.52) this season.
Lindsey Schmidt, Bishop Kelly: She qualified for state in four events last season and was a favorite to win, but a sprained ankle slowed her down. Schmidt won the 100 hurdles, took second in the 300 hurdles, fourth in the high jump and fifth in the triple jump. She leads the state this season in the 100 hurdles (15.34) and high jump (5-7).
BOYS TO WATCH
Khalil Forehand, Bishop Kelly: Despite a strained hamstring, he swept the 100 and 200 meters at last year’s state meet and anchored the 4x100 relay to a come-from-behind win. Forehand ranks second overall in the 100 (11.00) and sixth in the 200 (22.76) this spring.
Nate Griswold, Caldwell: He qualified for state in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, long jump and triple jump last season, including a victory in the triple jump. The junior’s best performance in 2017 has been in the long jump, where he is tied for the fourth-best mark overall and tops in the classification (21-1.5).
Connor Lofthus, Skyview: Lofthus wrapped up his junior year with a pair of third-place finishes in the 100 and 200 at state. So far this season, he ranks fourth in the 100 (11.13) and fifth in the 200 (22.68), highlighted by head-to-head wins over Forehand in both events at a March 16 meet in Middleton.
Mark Sullivan, Caldwell: He set his career-best mark of 15-0 in winning the state pole vault title last season. He cleared 14-9 to finish fourth at the Simplot Games in February and cleared the same height to win a March 23 meet at Ridgevue and claim the state’s No. 1 overall ranking as a junior.
- Boise Relays: Saturday at Dona Larsen Park, Boise
- YMCA Invitational: April 21-22 at Mountain View High, Meridian
- 5A District Three Championships: May 11-12 at Mountain View High
- 4A District Three Championships: May 12-13 at Ridgevue High, Nampa
- 5A/4A state meet: May 19-20 at Dona Larsen Park