Bishop Kelly senior Lindsey Schmidt was unhappy with the way the state track and field meet went in 2016, but she shouldn’t have much to complain about this year.
It’s not every day a high school athlete gets a pep talk and a pat on the back from an Olympic legend.
Dick Fosbury, who won the men’s high jump at the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City with his “Fosbury Flop,” awarded Schmidt her gold medal for winning the 4A girls high jump on Friday at Dona Larsen Park.
Fosbury then spent a few minutes taking photos with athletes, including Schmidt, to whom he offered a bit of encouragement.
“You had that state record,” Fosbury said.
Schmidt narrowly missed clearing 5 feet, 8 inches on her final attempt, which would have been a classification record.
“I had no idea he would be here, that’s incredible,” Schmidt said. “I’ve seen him at some of our indoor meets. He’ll sometimes go, but I’ve never got to shake his hand.”
“I support track and field. It’s really what changed my life,” said Fosbury, who lives in Ketchum. “... I love the state level of competition. These athletes have such great enthusiasm and they’re trying so hard. They have just the best qualities of student-athletes, so this is really, really fun for me.”
The high jump was Schmidt’s second victory of the day. The future Princeton heptathlete won the girls triple jump with a mark of 37-5.5 on her first attempt. She fractured her left ankle on her first attempt in the same event at state last season, derailing her chance of winning four golds.
“I had hundreds of butterflies doing back flips in my stomach,” Schmidt said. “My first jump, my coach afterwards looked at me and said, ‘That looked kind of funny.’ I’m like, ‘I just wanted to get one without fracturing my ankle.’ ”
Schmidt will compete in the 100 hurdles and long jump Saturday. She is the defending champion in the 100 hurdles and ran the fastest time in Friday’s prelims (14.87 seconds). She is seeded second in the long jump.
“I try to separate the events, because I don’t want to have too much euphoria for this and then not be focused,” Schmidt said. “I really try to take each one individually and just think, ‘I’m going to run my race, and I’m going to do my best,’ and just see where it gets me.”
There were 20 event finals Friday. Here are the highlights involving Treasure Valley teams:
▪ Mountain View freshman Lexy Halladay went into the 5A girls 3,200 meters thinking she might break the overall state meet record by a second or two. It ended up being much more than that. Halladay crossed the line in 10:30.80, eclipsing the mark of 10:36.00 set by Borah’s Sara Christianson last year. Halladay also will be a favorite to win in the 800, 1,600 and 4x400 relay Saturday.
How much will the reigning state cross country champion have left in the tank?
“Hopefully a lot,” Halladay said. “That’s why I didn’t want to go out and kill myself today, just because I knew I had three races tomorrow.”
▪ Mountain View junior Tori Sloan set a personal best in the 5A girls long jump twice Friday. Sloan won the event with a leap of 18-4.25. It was her first time surpassing the 18-foot mark. She also will compete in the high jump, 100 meters and 4x100 relay.
“This whole season I’ve been working on my pop,” Sloan said. “Today I got that down, so it really helped a lot.”
▪ Capital senior Britt Ipsen performed as expected in the 5A boys long jump, winning by more than a foot with his mark of 23-3. He won the event in 2015 and finished second last year. Ipsen was the No. 1 qualifier in the 110 hurdles prelims at 15.01, and he’ll be the No. 1 seed in Saturday’s high jump and triple jump finals.
“I wanted to redeem myself (from last year),” Ipsen said. “So I just came out here and did my best.”
▪ Even his opponents swarmed in for a group hug after Boise junior Seth Nims won the 5A boys pole vault with a personal-best of 15 feet, 3 inches. Nims finished second at state last season and was the only competitor to surpass the 15-foot mark at state. There were multiple delays during competition, as the boys broke four crossbars.
“It’s probably one of the best things about pole vault. We have kind of a companionship with everyone that’s there,” Nims said. “Having that feeling of everyone clapping and everyone cheering for you is better than, honestly, clearing the height.”
▪ Former gymnast Sierra Kiser of Boise picked up the pole vault as a sophomore. After finishing second at the district meet last week, Kiser won the 5A girls pole vault with a clearance of 11-6. Madison’s Lexi Wightman also cleared 11-6, but Kiser won with fewer attempts. She was third at state in 2016.
“I wanted it more than anything,” Kiser said. “I think throughout the season I started setting new PRs, and I just really got confident. I felt good coming into today.”
▪ Caldwell junior Nate Griswold became a repeat winner in the 4A boys triple jump with his mark of 45-10.25. It was a personal best for Griswold and he accomplished it on his final jump of the finals, taking him from third place to first. Griswold also was the top qualifier in the 110 hurdles prelims (15.35).
“I still have one more year. I’m hoping for more,” Griswold said. “But you can’t get too greedy.”
▪ Mountain Home senior Sable Lohmeier got a late start to the track season as she was recovering from a broken foot sustained during basketball. The time off didn’t prove too detrimental. Lohmeier threw a personal-best 140-4 to win the 4A discus. She finished third last season.
“This is the first time I’ve PR’d since sophomore year,” said Lohmeier, whose previous best was 132-0.
▪ The Rocky Mountain boys and girls swept the 5A 4x800-meter relay finals. Senior Megan Boals, junior Nathalia Campos, freshman Laura Heywood and senior Faith Dilmore gave the Grizzlies their third straight state title in the event in 9:17.87. Senior Tanner Roark, junior Ashton Siwek, sophomore Gavin Pollock and senior Anthony Ghiorso won the boys race in 7:56.21.