Lexy Halladay knows what it feels like to lose something precious.
Now she also knows the exhilaration of redemption.
A year after losing her overall state meet record in the 1,600 meters, the Mountain View High junior took it back in spectacular fashion, winning the 5A girls race in 4 minutes, 43.74 seconds on Saturday at the 5A/4A state track and field championships at Eagle High. It is the fastest 1,600 time in the nation this season.
“Oh my heavens,” Halladay said as tears welled in her eyes shortly after she finished the race.
Halladay, who also is a three-time state champion in cross country, completed the distance sweep for the first time in her varsity career despite an ankle injury. She won her third straight 3,200 on Friday and claimed her first title in the 800 in 2:12.04, which was just a smidgen shy of the overall record of 2:11.26 established last year by Boise’s Maggie Liebich.
“Funny story, my body doesn’t really let me run,” Halladay said. “So I’ve been cross-training a lot this season. I’ve been running two times a week but cross-training every day, sometimes twice a day, just to try to keep up with the mileage.”
While Halladay found her way back to the top of the podium, host Eagle denied Mountain View a third straight girls team championship. The Mustangs totaled 123 points and needed just two event wins to reel in their first team title since 2013. Boise was second with 103.5 points and Mountain View was third with 80.
Eagle won the girls 4x800 on Friday and senior Zoe Johnson finished first in the high jump (5 feet, 4 inches) as the Mustangs amassed the majority of their points with depth.
[Related: 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A state track results.]
“We don’t have one superstar kid. We have 17 of them,” Eagle coach Greg Harm said. “It was a team victory. We asked a lot of a lot of kids.
“... These girls worked hard and did what we asked them to do. We just put a great team together. We make a joke about state championships are won with third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes.”
In the 5A boys team title race, Rocky Mountain maintained its familiar place at the top, winning a fourth consecutive championship and eighth in nine seasons. The Grizzlies amassed 98 points to second-place Capital’s 76. Mountain View was third with 72.
▪ Seniors Jasmine Devers and Jaymon Barrus established Mountain View as the classification’s sprint capital, as each swept the 5A races in the 100 and 200 meters. Barrus also ran the anchor leg of the Mavericks’ winning 4x200 relay with the help of teammates Magnus Hemingway, Hunter Braseth and younger brother Bronx Barrus. Devers finished the season unbeaten in both the 100 (12.23) and 200 (24.87), but she was tested for the first time this year and had to come from behind to win the 200. “That’s been my event the entire year, and I wanted to keep it that way,” Devers said.
▪ Tiebreakers are nothing new to Kinsey Langin. She’s just not used to being on the winning side of one. After losing last year’s state title and this year’s district championship on tiebreakers, the Rocky Mountain junior claimed her first gold in the 5A girls pole vault by clearing 12-6. The mark ties for the 5A state meet record and is one inch short of tying the overall record of 12-7. Langin cleared 12-6 on her first attempt, while Boise senior Maya Maloney made it on her third attempt. Neither vaulter cleared 13-0, giving Langin first based on attempts. “I wanted it so bad. Maya’s a great friend and she’s great to compete against, but I am so glad I won,” Langin said.
▪ There was a pair of first-time champions in the 5A girls hurdle events. Rocky Mountain senior Kenna Jones crossed the finish line first in the 100 hurdles (15.06), while Borah freshman Avery McBride raced to a win in the 300 hurdles (44.41). “I just ran the race that I knew I could run,” Jones said. “I’m in shock. I’m actually in shock. I still can’t believe that I won.”
▪ Borah junior Austin Bolt plans to play football in college and already has offers from Utah State and Idaho State. His football coach, Jason Burton — who also happens to be the Lions’ track coach — convinced Bolt to come out for track, too. Bolt ended up with two golds, winning the 400 (48.79) and anchoring the Lions’ winning 4x400 relay (3:22.99). Bolt also was a member of Borah’s state championship boys basketball team. “I hate losing, so when the race comes, I just try out-pushing anyone else,” Bolt said.
▪ Timberline senior Caleb Stamper joined running club in elementary school because he really wanted the water bottle he’d receive for participating. Little did he know it would put him on a path to three consecutive state titles in the 800. Stamper won in 1:54.39 and will run for Boise State this fall. “I would have never guessed,” Stamper said. “If someone had told me even my freshman year that I’d be winning state as a sophomore, I’d look at them like they were crazy and then go work as hard as I could to try to accomplish it.”
▪ Capital senior Alec Bindner added a pole vault championship to his resume a day after winning the boys long jump. Bindner was the only 5A boy to clear 15-0, and he just missed a third gold in the 300 hurdles. Centennial’s Diego Sekiyama-Nava edged Binder at the finish of the 300 hurdles (39.01 to 39.07).
▪ Meridian freshman Eli Lawrence surprised himself, setting a personal best by nearly 3 feet to win the 5A boys triple jump with a mark of 45-04. Lawrence’s dad, Wendell Lawrence, is a former Olympic triple jumper from the Bahamas. His previous best mark in the triple was 42-11 and he started the season on junior varsity. “I exceeded my expectations,” Lawrence said.
▪ On top of his 3,200 championship on Friday, Borah sophomore Nathan Green checked off a second straight state title in the 5A boys 1,600 (4:15.98). ... Rocky Mountain junior Gerrit Tamminga won the boys discus throw with a mark of 170-04. ... Eagle’s Josh Hosac, Austin Durfee, Charles Baker and Cameron Churchill combined to win the boys 4x100 relay.
4A: BK GIRLS CONTINUE DOMINANCE
The juggernaut that is the Bishop Kelly girls track team maintained its choke-hold on the 4A classification with a fifth straight team championship.
The Knights racked up 153 points, more than doubling the total of second-place Skyline with 67.
“They’re really hard workers. They trust our process,” Bishop Kelly coach Jeff Carpenter said. “... We’re a big believer in multi-sport athletes, so they’re playing sports year-round and that helps their fitness level. They’re just competitors.”
Senior Aly Tekippe led the charge for the Knights with three golds for the second year in a row. Tekippe took first in the pole vault (11-0) and long jump (18-1) and teamed up with Jaiden Rodrigues, Anna Schmautz and younger sister Paige Tekippe to win the 4x100 relay in a classification record of 48.40.
Bishop Kelly also got a win from senior Kelly Donnellan in the high jump (5-4) and set another class record in the 4x200 (1:41.99) with the help of Rodrigues, Kelsi Ramakers, Mallory Knell and Lauren Elwer.
“It’s crazy because we’re the smallest school in 4A,” Aly Tekippe said. “Somehow we just keep pushing and pushing even harder to get our athletes into the shape that we are.”
Also winning 4A state titles on the girls side for the Treasure Valley were Middleton’s Ashley Campbell in the 400 (57.90), Vallivue’s Shacole Hughes in the shot put (40-9) and Middleton’s 4x400 relay team.
The 4A boys team championship came down to the final event, and Skyline senior Zackary Lott’s sixth-place finish in the pole vault turned a one-point Bishop Kelly lead into a two-point Skyline victory.
The Grizzlies edged the Knights 68-66 to end BK’s three-year championship run.
▪ Landon Helms wasn’t intimidated at his first state meet. The freshman from Emmett won two state titles, claiming the 110 hurdles (14.48) and pole vault (15-6). His mark in the pole vault broke a classification record that had stood since 2001 by 1 inch.
The Treasure Valley’s other winners included Caldwell’s Zack Ramos in the boys discus (167-8), Mountain Home’s Bryson Wright in the 400 (50.11) and Middleton’s boys 4x400 relay team.
3A track: Parma senior Madison Jackson won state titles in the 100 hurdles (14.81) and high jump (5-4) for the third straight year, capping her three-year track career with eight gold medals. The future Montana State women’s basketball player tied the 5A and 4A state champs with her 5-4 high jump.