Varsity Extra

Racing in the rain: Local track and field competitors beat weather, win state

Already soaked from head to foot, Kolbi Sims walked to the awards tent at Dona Larsen Park in her socks.

The Eagle High senior decided hours earlier there was no point in fighting the rain.

Despite a steady downpour throughout Friday morning’s competition, Sims didn’t seem to mind, besting the girls long jump field by more than a foot at the 5A state track and field meet.

“The conditions weren’t ideal, but I just gave it my all,” Sims said. “I tried to focus on where the runway was because the rain was kind of covering the board. I just had to zone in.”

Sims, who has signed with San Jose State, only began competing in the long jump this season, but she has caught on in a flash. Her winning leap of 18 feet, 7.75 inches far surpassed her nearest competitor. Second-place Kierra Lins of Timberline jumped 17-04.50.

Sims also won her preliminary heat of the 200 meters and will compete in the high jump Saturday morning. She finished fourth at state in both events last season.

“It’s really good to see how I’ve progressed,” Sims said.

Puddles formed in several places along the east runway for the 4A girls triple jump and 5A girls long jump. Officials used air blowers to remove some of the water, but there was no avoiding the rain during competition.

Almost everyone looked miserable.

“My shoes are wet, my socks are wet, my spikes are wet. It’s really bad,” Sims said.

But she still had a smile on her face.

With Sims’ help, the Mustangs took an early lead in the team race with 33.50 points. Boise was second with 24 and Mountain View third with 21.50.

CAPITAL BOYS DOMINATE LONG JUMP

With fans in the stands clapping in sync, Britt Ipsen sprinted down the runway and took one final leap.

Officials eyed the board with scrutiny but declared the Capital sophomore’s last attempt fair — if only by a millimeter or two.

Ipsen saved his best for last, winning the 5A boys long jump with a mark of 21-11. Capital came within an inch of sweeping the top three places in the event as Derrick White — who learned to long jump just six weeks ago — took second (21-04) and junior Sam Brixey fourth (21-02.25).

“It’s great to know you have competition at practice. It pushes you a lot harder,” Ipsen said. “Just to be out here and laugh with these guys is probably the best thing.”

The strong showing in the long jump gave the Capital boys an early lead in the team race. Through five events, the Eagles had 22 points, four-time defending champion Rocky Mountain was second with 27 and reigning District Three champion Mountain View was third with 19.

OTHER VALLEY WINNERS

Of the 20 final events contested Friday, Treasure Valley athletes claimed 14 gold medals. Here are the rest of the local winners:

• After finishing second a year ago, Bishop Kelly junior Sophia Adams won the 4A girls discus with a throw of 123-02. The Knights lead the team race with 28 points, one ahead of defending champion Rigby.



• Capital senior Nicole White picked the right time to set a personal best by nearly a foot. White entered the 5A girls shot put as the No. 4 seed, but emerged as the champion with her throw of 41-05.



• Eagle’s Kevin Ketterling outmuscled his 5A boys shot put competitors by more than two feet to improve from a third-place finish in 2014 to a state championship as a senior. Ketterling posted a career-best throw of 54-09.50.



• Mountain Home sophomore Alexandra Tatum said she wanted to thank her coach for sticking around this season. What better way than to win a state championship? Tatum soared 37-3 to win the 4A girls triple jump.



• Kuna occupied the top two spots on the podium in the 4A boys triple jump as senior Andrew Ware won the event with a distance of 44-1 and senior Mikhail Kidd finished second at 43-0.



• Rocky Mountain’s Keegan Winkle and Borah’s Wes Loertscher each cleared 15 feet in the 5A boys pole vault, but Winkle cleared the height on his first attempt and Loertscher his second, giving Winkle the victory.



• Bishop Kelly sophomore Lindsey Schmidt didn’t get much time to celebrate her win in the 4A girls high jump. Immediately after being handed her medal on the podium, Schmidt had to run to the starting line for her preliminary heat of the 100 hurdles. It turned out to be the perfect warmup, as Schmidt qualified for Saturday’s final.



• The Mountain View boys began their state title pursuit with a victory in the 4x800 relay. Colton Ray, Adrian Jones, Conner Oswald and Noah Horsburgh combined for a time of 7:57.60.



• Bishop Kelly sits in third place in the 4A boys team standings — six points shy of leader Rigby — with the help of its winning 1,600 sprint medley team of Kobe Smith, Khalil Forehand, Matt Dean and Joe Grover.



• Boise senior Emily Hamlin defended her 5A girls 3,200 title but came just short of breaking her own meet record. Hamlin won in 10:49.39. The record she set in 2014 was 10:47.02.



• Pocatello senior Elijah Armstrong and Boise State commit won his third consecutive 4A boys 3,200 in 9:13.29. Armstrong crossed the finish line more than 100 meters ahead of his nearest competitor, but he failed to break his own overall meet record of 9:00.73 from last season.



• Rocky Mountain junior Michael Slagowski moved from third to first with about 300 meters remaining to win the 5A boys 3,200 in 9:20.90.



State competition continues at 9 a.m. Saturday with field events; running finals begin at 1 p.m.

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