On Oct. 15, 2015, Loren Cantrill was in the hospital having a 26-inch titanium rod inserted in her left leg to support a broken femur.
On Friday, the Rocky Mountain High junior ran to a victory in the girls 400 meters at the 5A District Three track and field meet at Meridian High.
“When it happened, I was punching the ground, because I thought my track season was over,” Cantrill said. “I didn’t feel anything, but I was crying because I wasn’t going to get to run.”
Cantrill broke her femur while attempting to shake a defender during a powderpuff football game.
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“I was in Nikes on the turf and I started slipping, but there was one girl right in front of me, so I went to juke her out, and the momentum, I guess. They said that I could have done it 100 times and it wouldn’t have happened,” Cantrill said. “I just tripped, and it literally snapped before I hit the ground. I just fell flat on my face.”
Not even seven months removed from the freak accident, Cantrill is back on the track and chasing her dreams.
Although her 400 time of 57.97 seconds is not her career best, it was good enough to reel in her first individual district title.
She’ll be among the favorites to win the event at next week’s state meet, which starts Friday at Dona Larsen Park in Boise. Cantrill took third last season, and the two runners who finished ahead of her graduated.
It’s been a swift but difficult journey back to the top for Cantrill, who didn’t eclipse the one-minute barrier in the 400 until the Pulse Invitational in April. For a while, she wasn’t sure she’d get back to her previous form.
“It was hard to go from running fast to not being able to run,” Cantrill said. “Something that used to come naturally to you not coming naturally to you anymore is weird.”
Cantrill credits her teammates and coaches with helping to push her through the self-doubt.
“Given her gutsy attitude and hardcore determination, she was able to train up,” Rocky Mountain coach Brad Abbott said. “I think all athletes go through the ups and downs of a training season, and Loren certainly has this year. But she’s come back from the depths, and she’s at the top of her game right now.”
Cantrill’s win wasn’t the only big performance of the two-day meet. Here are some of the other standout performances:
▪ Rocky Mountain senior Michael Slagowski won the boys 800 (1:48.36), 1,600 (4:18.12) and 3,200 (9:24.81) for the second straight season. His 800 time is the fastest in the nation this season. A few weeks ago, Slagowski became the ninth high school runner to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile.
“I’m just trying to focus on my running, like individually and the team, and not worrying about other people’s expectations,” Slagowski said.
▪ The Borah girls 4x400 relay of Katelyn Powell, Kiana Corpus, Amanda Chipman and Malia Vineyard broke the district meet record with their winning time of 3:54.01. The previous record was 3:56.41 set by Boise at last year’s meet.
▪ Capital senior Sam Brixey ran to wins in the boys 110 (14.10) and 300 hurdles. His 300 time of 38.0 surpassed the previous record by one-tenth of a second.
▪ Capital junior Britt Ipsen swept the boys long jump (22-2.25), triple jump (44-3.75) and high jump (6-6).
▪ Rocky Mountain broke its own school and district record in the girls 4x200, as Bailey Boerner, Dena Shaffstall-Lassos, Leighton Stolworthy and Ali Phillips won in 1:41.70.
▪ Two-time defending state 300 hurdles champion Tatyana Jones of Centennial set the district record in the event with a win in 44.50, beating current Chicago Red Stars soccer player Sofia Huerta’s record of 44.77 from 2011. Jones also won the long jump with a state-leading mark of 18-2.
▪ Eagle senior Luke Leonnig swept the boys discus (182-10) and shot put (58-5.25). His discus mark is tops in the state this season and 44th nationally.
▪ Rocky Mountain’s Jake Roper, Austin Lane, Carter Kuehl and Josh Kraft established the meet record in the boys 4x100 with a time of 42.24. Meridian’s time of 42.60 had stood since 2002.
▪ In the final event of the meet, Eagle’s boys 4x400 relay of James Love, Adam Brown, Calvin Freeman and John Varner ran a state-leading time of 3:20.69.
▪ Rocky Mountain sophomore Taylen Langin cleared 12-7 to win the girls pole vault, producing the best mark in the state this season by more than a foot.
▪ Capital junior Kari Taylor passed her competitors down the stretch to win the girls 800 in 2:15.14, which is the fastest in the state this season.
Bishop Kelly sweeps 4A titles
Bishop Kelly won the boys and girls team titles on the Knights’ home track, running away with the girls title at 268 points, 185 points ahead of second-place Skyview. The boys edged Skyview 162-157.
Seven district records fell at the meet:
▪ Bishop Kelly’s 4x100 girls relay at 48.63 seconds, a time that would have set a record at the state meet.
▪ The Knights’ 4x200 girls relay (1:44.66).
▪ Skyview boys 4x100 (43.27), 4x200 (1:29.46) and 1,600 medley (3:30.74) relays.
▪ Middleton’s Jayde Nielsen in the girls 100 (12.23) and 200 (25.24).
The 4A state meet starts next Friday at Dona Larsen Park.