Rocky Mountain qualified 25 boys and 16 girls for the state track and field championships last season, picking up victories in 11 events on the way to a sweep of the 5A team titles.
It was the fifth championship in six seasons for the Rocky boys but the first for the girls, and it came on the heels of a runner-up finish at the district meet.
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Although Rocky Mountain is expected to have depth on the boys side again this season, the team race isn’t likely to be as clear as last year’s 45.5-point victory. And with the 5A addition of Rigby — the 2015 4A boys team champion and 2016 runner-up — more programs will push the Grizzlies for the top spot.
A strong incoming freshman class gives Mountain View the edge in the girls team race. The Mavericks already have a state championship in cross country this school year, and the stacked group is likely to account for plenty of points in the distance events.
Here are some of the top athletes who will help shape the 5A SIC this spring (all rankings are based on athletic.net’s overall performance lists, which do not include hand-timed results).
GIRLS TO WATCH
Bailey Boerner, Rocky Mountain: After taking third in the 200 meters at the district meet in 2016, Boerner surprised the field at state, winning by 0.01. The senior has the state’s second fastest time in the 100 (12.65 seconds) this season among all classifications, according to athletic.net, and a 200 time clocked at 25.94 (hand timed). She is a key component on relays, too.
Tristin Bowens, Capital: She won her first state 100 title last season as a junior and took second in the 200. She’s unbeaten so far this season in both races and is ranked third overall in the long jump (16 feet, 9 inches) and fourth in the triple jump (35-3.25).
Emma Cole, Capital: She qualified for state in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and long jump last season, winning the 100 hurdles and finishing second in the 300 hurdles. In three meets this season, the senior is undefeated in both hurdle events.
Lexy Halladay, Mountain View: The reigning 5A state cross country champion is only a freshman, but she is a contender in any race she runs. She ranks 10th in the nation in the 1,600 (4:54.57) and owns the state’s top time in the 800 (2:16.24) this spring.
Eve Jensen, Boise: The runner-up last fall at the state cross country meet took second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600 at last year’s state meet. The sophomore has the fastest 3,200 time (10:57.98) this season and is second in the 1,600 (5:11.43).
Taylen Langin, Rocky Mountain: As a sophomore, Langin won the pole vault in 9-of-10 meets, including state. Her career-best mark of 12 feet, 7 inches last season — which she cleared in the district meet — would be good enough to tie the overall state meet record. She leads the state this season with a clearance of 12-0.
Kari Taylor, Capital: She broke through for her first individual state title in the 800 last season with a personal-best time of 2:14.04. She has yet to compete her senior season as she is recovering from an injury sustained during cross country. Taylor is expected back this month, head coach Bryan Stith said.
BOYS TO WATCH
Caleb Hardy, Mountain View: A false start cost him a chance to compete for a spot on the podium in the 400 at state last season, but he did run a leg on the winning 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams. As a senior, Hardy has the state’s No. 1 time in the 200 (21.87) and is second in the 400 (48.68).
Britt Ipsen, Capital: He is a heavy favorite to win the high jump, long jump and triple jump at state after winning the high jump in 2016 and taking second in the long and triple. The senior and University of Idaho signee ranks first in all three events this season, and he’s also picked up the 110-meter hurdles, where he ranks No. 1 (15.71). Ipsen won the state long jump title in 2015.
Carter Kuehl, Rocky Mountain: A reigning first-team pick at running back on the All-Idaho football team, Kuehl took second in the 200, fourth in the 100 and ran a leg on the record-setting 4x100 relay team at state last season. Now a junior, he owns the fastest 100 time (10.93) this season.
Austin Lane, Rocky Mountain: He qualified for four state finals in 2016, winning the 100 and 4x100 relay while taking second in the 4x200 relay and eighth in the 200. The senior is among the state’s fastest again this season, posting the second best 200 (22.38) and third best 100 (11.12)times in 2017.
Siyad Matan, Borah: Last season, he was overshadowed by Rocky Mountain’s Michael Slagowski, who swept the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 for the second straight year. With Slagowski graduated, the junior will try to improve upon last year’s finishes of second in the 3,200, third in the 1,600 and fourth in the 800.
Daniel Owen, Rocky Mountain: Because of rain and wind, conditions weren’t ideal when Owen won the 2016 state pole vault title in a jumpoff with a height of 14 feet. He returns for his senior season looking to improve upon his personal best of 14-7, which he posted to win last year’s district title.
- 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