Varsity Extra

Idaho prep athletes to watch for state track and field meets

The finish to the girls 100 meters at the 5A District Three track and field meet was too close to call. Who will win the state final Saturday at Dona Larsen Park?
The finish to the girls 100 meters at the 5A District Three track and field meet was too close to call. Who will win the state final Saturday at Dona Larsen Park? kjones@idahostatesman.com

Between the hundreds of athletes and the constant cycling of events, the Idaho high school state track and field meets can feel a bit overwhelming.

If you’re not sure whom and what to watch on Friday and Saturday at Dona Larsen Park (5A/4A) and Middleton High (3A/2A/1A), here are five storylines to follow.

5A GIRLS 100

The finish to the girls 100 meters at the 5A District Three meet was ruled a tie between Mountain View freshman Asha Byrd and Rocky Mountain sophomore Dena Shaffstall-Lassos at 12.45 seconds. Rocky’s Bailey Boerner took third in 12.49, and defending state champ Tristin Bowens of Capital was fourth in 12.57. You won’t want to blink after the gun goes off for Saturday’s final.

DISTANCE DYNAMOS

Lewiston senior Austin Byrer and Mountain View freshman Lexy Halladay — the defending boys and girls 5A state cross country champions — each have their eyes on a distance sweep of the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters. The 3,200 is the final race Friday, and the 1,600 and 800 are both Saturday.

FOUR-FOR-FOUR

There are several athletes with a legitimate chance to win four events in the state’s two largest classifications. Capital senior Britt Ipsen won the boys long jump, triple jump, high jump and 110 hurdles at the 5A District Three meet. Halladay added a victory in the 4x400 relay to her distance trifecta at districts. In 4A competition, Bishop Kelly senior Lindsey Schmidt is seeded first in the girls triple jump and high jump, and second in the 100 hurdles and long jump.

SMALL-SCHOOL STANDOUTS

While the majority of this year’s state-leading marks belong to athletes in the 5A and 4A classifications, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some noteworthy performances happening in the smaller classifications. Buhl senior Alyssa Gorrell has the state’s best mark in the girls shot put at 42 feet, 5 inches. Declo senior Kiersten Lancaster won the girls 100 hurdles at last week’s 3A/2A District IV Championships in a state-leading 15.02 seconds. On the boys side, Firth senior Damon Folkman has cleared 6 feet 8 inches in the high jump, and Bonners Ferry senior Isaac Lavala has the top pole vault this season with a clearance of 15-2.

RECORDS IN JEOPARDY

▪ Overall state meet records in the boys shot put (64-9, Minico’s Josh Barclay, 2014), 400 meters (47.97, Eagle’s James Heckendorn, 2013) and 4x100 relay (42.25, Rocky Mountain, 2016) could fall this weekend. The athletes who have the potential to break them? Coeur d’Alene senior Grady Leonard has thrown 67-0 in the shot put this season; Mountain View senior Caleb Hardy clocked a 48.30 in the 400 last week; and Mountain View’s 4x100 relay team ran a 42.18 on April 8 at the Boise Relays.

▪ The Mountain View girls will be chasing down overall records in the 4x100 (48.14, Eagle, 2013), 4x200 (1:41.72, Rocky Mountain, 2014) and 4x400 (3:55.09, Mountain View, 2012). Blackfoot senior Michelle Pratt and Mountain View’s Halladay are each within striking distance of the 800 (2:13.23, Boise’s Emily Hamlin, 2014) and 1,600 (4:53.86, Borah’s Sara Christianson, 2016) records. Halladay could make it three records in the 3,200 (10:36.00, Borah’s Sara Christianson, 2016). In the district prelims, Rocky Mountain’s Bailey Boerner ran a 24.85 in the 200. The state record is 24.80, by Mountain View’s Kyli McSpadden in 2012. And Pocatello junior Harlee Hales could easily break her own record in the 400 (55.53, 2016).

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @IDS_VarsityX

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