Varsity Extra

This track star started the season on crutches. Now she’s setting records.

Photo finish in the 5A district 100-meter final

Mountain View’s Magnus Hemingway edged Rocky Mountain’s Carter Kuehl and teammate Jaymon Barrus in boys 100-meter race at the 5A District Three Meet.
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Mountain View’s Magnus Hemingway edged Rocky Mountain’s Carter Kuehl and teammate Jaymon Barrus in boys 100-meter race at the 5A District Three Meet.

Mountain View sophomore Lexy Halladay admits that she’s at only 80 percent. But even 80 percent of one of the nation’s up-and-coming track stars can rewrite the record book.

After starting the season on crutches, Halladay set the 5A District Three Meet record in the girls 1,600-meter race Friday at Mountain View High at 4 minutes, 52.44 seconds — 3.15 seconds ahead of the record set by Boise’s Emily Hamlin in 2014.

It’s just the second time she’s run the 1,600 this season.

“What she ran tonight is pretty remarkable in that 1,600, especially considering how slow it went out,” Mountain View coach Tracy Harris said.

Halladay also won the 3,200 (10:58.81) on Thursday and ran the anchor leg of the Mavericks' district championship 4x400-relay team (3:57.94), giving her three district titles to go with the four she won as a freshman.

Only Rocky Mountain sophomore Laura Heywood kept Halladay from another sweep, passing Halladay on the outside in the final 50 meters of the 800 for a 0.64-second win in 2:14.96. But considering where Halladay started the season, she’ll take it.

A week before the season, she felt a pain in her hip that she knew wasn’t a muscle problem. An MRI revealed a stress reaction, a precursor to a stress fracture, forcing her onto crutches for three weeks and off the track even longer.

She worked out in the pool and on a stationary bike to stay as in shape as best she could. But Halladay, who set Idaho’s all-class records in the 1,600 and 3,200 as a freshman, knew it wasn’t the same.

“Mentally, it was really hard,” she said. “And also physically because I know what I can do and what I’m able to do. It just sucks not being able to, to not be at the top of my game right now. But it’s my sophomore year and I still have a few weeks for some other races and to get my speed back.”

She didn’t run her first competitive race until a March 22 dual against Eagle. And even then, the Mavericks have slowly worked her back, saving her for the biggest meets and trying to keep the injury from flaring up.

She won the 1,500 at the Oregon relays and finished second in the mile at the invite-only Nike Jesuit Twilight Relays in Portland. Even as she nursed a hip injury, she ran the seventh-fastest time in the nation this season in Portland.

“She’s done consistent running over the last six, seven weeks,” Harris said. “Still, she lost a lot of that background training that gives you your strength and your endurance.”

Halladay said her top-end speed still isn’t there, which hurts her in the 800. The injury has fully healed, which allows her to add to her training each week. But she knows she still can’t go all-out just yet, with the state tournament at Dona Larsen Park next week.

“It’s healed. It’s just making sure I don’t injure it again,” Halladay said. “I just have to ride the line without stepping over.”

SPRINTS HEAT UP

The most exciting race of the day came in the boys 100-meter final. Mountain View sophomore Magnus Hemingway leaned forward for the victory at the finish line in 10.75 seconds, the fastest time in the state this season in any classification.

Rocky Mountain’s Carter Kuehl, the defending state champ, finished .08 seconds behind Hemingway, and Mountain View’s Jaymon Barrus was .13 seconds behind.

Kuehl, a future Air Force running back, got Hemingway back in the 200 finals, edging the sophomore by 0.16 seconds for the title at 22.03.

ANOTHER RECORD SETTER

Mountain View junior Melanie Marquis set the district record in the girls 300 hurdles at 43.50 seconds, 0.14 seconds faster than the previous best and the lowest time this season in any classification.

She also ran a leg of the district champion 4x400 relay and finished third in the 100 hurdles at 15.69.

TEAM RACES

The Mountain View girls and Rocky Mountain boys each won their third straight team titles. Nine Mountain View girls won events, allowing the Mavericks to finish with 182 points, 47 ahead of second-place Rocky Mountain.

Kuehl’s victory in the 200 stood as Rocky Mountain’s only boys individual title, but the Grizzlies used their depth to edge Mountain View 139-134.5 in the team race.

Both teams have followed up their district titles with state championships each of the past two seasons.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Borah freshman Nathan Green swept the boys 1,600 (4:23.80) and 3,200 (9:32.52).

  • Mountain View senior and Oregon signee Tori Sloan swept the high jump (5-4) and long jump (18-2) titles, and she ran one a leg of the district champion 4x100-relay team (49.06).

  • Timberline junior Caleb Stamper dusted the boys 800 field, turning in the fastest time in the state this season in any classification at 1:53.55.

  • A year after tying for the girls 100 title, Rocky Mountain junior Dena Shaffstall-Lassos left no doubt at 12.19 seconds, a personal record and the all-class low this season.



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