Todd Bindner would have liked to see his youngest son become a golfer, but he won’t begrudge him now.
Alec Bindner is taking after his mother instead, winning the 5A boys long jump at the 5A/4A state track and field meet Friday at Eagle High.
Bindner, a senior at Capital High, won the event with a mark of 21 feet, 11.5 inches after finishing fifth in 2018 and second in 2017.
“This just really brightens up my day and my weekend,” Alec said. “It gives me a lot more energy to do the rest of my events.”
Beth (Winans) Bindner, Alec’s mom, won a state championship at Meridian in 1986 in the 100-meter hurdles and was in the stands to see her son’s long jump victory 33 years later. Alec’s uncle, Nick Winans, claimed the 110 hurdles title for Meridian in 1981, so winning clearly runs in the family.
“It is a little surreal,” Beth said. “We’ve been actually anticipating it, because he is very talented and very athletic, but you just don’t know what’s going to happen until you’re there. It’s a great feeling, because even winning back in the day, it’s something I’ll never forget.”
The Bindners have three sons, and Todd never had much luck convincing any of them to pursue golf. Todd played collegiately at Arkansas and is the current pro at SpurWing in Meridian. He also coached the Boise State women’s golf team from 1992 to 1994.
“They say, ‘Dad, that game’s way too tough,’ ” Todd said. “I think it was a little sarcastic comment, but it is tough.”
Alec has a chance for three more golds on Saturday. He advanced to the finals of the 300 hurdles with the fastest time (39.43 seconds) in Friday’s prelims and will compete in the pole vault and triple jump as well. Alec’s cousin, Matt Winans of Capital, also qualified for the finals in the 300 hurdles.
“When he’s down there in the blocks, my stomach turns,” Beth said. “Because I know what it feels like and I know the fear of a slight mistake changing the outcome.”
▪ It may have been cold and rainy, but Mountain View junior Lexy Halladay was still up for a dip in the Boise River after winning her third straight 5A girls 3,200-meter championship. Halladay ran most of the eight-lap race just behind the right shoulder of Eagle junior Ashley LaJocies, who beat Halladay for the 5A District Three title in the same event last week. But with about 400 meters to go, Halladay took off on her own, finishing more than 4 seconds ahead of second-place LaJocies with her time of 10:39.23. “I definitely don’t take winning for granted. It’s so fun every time,” Halladay said. To keep her legs fresh for Saturday’s 800 and 1,600 finals, Halladay soaked in the 45-degree river after the 3,200. “I don’t want heavy legs,” Halladay joked in a phone interview.
▪ Nathan Green hasn’t forgotten about the finish to the 5A boys 3,200 last season. It has both haunted and motivated the Borah sophomore. Bonneville’s Stetson Moss out-kicked Green to edge him at the finish line by 0.05. “I was way too cocky. I was over confident and it destroyed me,” Green said. “I felt like I had it and I’d already won before the race was over, and that was a fatal flaw.” Green hasn’t lost a 3,200 race since that day, and he officially redeemed himself with a victory in the event Friday in 9:19.40. “It felt so good,” Green said.
▪ Nicholas Russell was seeded as the fourth-fastest runner going into the 4A boys 3,200, but his opponents knew better than to underestimate the Bishop Kelly senior. Russell was already a three-time 4A cross country state champion, and he added his second straight title in the 3,200 with a dominant final lap to win by more than 5 seconds with his time of 9:20.20.
▪ Twin Falls junior Sidnee Naerebout had one of two record-setting performances on the first day with her mark of 38-5.25 on her final attempt in the 4A girls triple jump. The previous 4A state meet record in the event was 38-3.50, established by Canyon Ridge’s Kayla Lee in 2012. “I just wanted to get the record, so I’m really happy about it,” Naerebout said.
▪ Idaho Falls senior Laurel Taylor is officially the fastest 4A girl in Idaho state meet history with her 100-meter prelim time of 12.26 seconds. Taylor’s time is one one-hundredth of a second ahead of the previous classification record of 12.27 by Columbia’s Rhianna Birch in 2011.
▪ Eagle’s LaJocies, Lizzie Dildine, Alyssa Britton and Julia LaMar won the 5A girls 4x800 relay in 9:12.44, finishing less than a second off the meet record of 9:12.07 from 2013. In the 5A boys 4x800, Timberline’s Josh Simboli, Jackson Busch, Charlie Stands and Caleb Stamper took first in 7:54.30.