Varsity Extra

5A track preview: Valley athletes making noise on national stage

Michael Slagowski from Rocky Mountain High School leads a pack of runners on his way to winning the boys 1600m run during the 5A District 3 Track and Field meet at Meridian High School in Meridian, Idaho. May 08, 2015
Michael Slagowski from Rocky Mountain High School leads a pack of runners on his way to winning the boys 1600m run during the 5A District 3 Track and Field meet at Meridian High School in Meridian, Idaho. May 08, 2015 kgreen@idahostatesman.com

State track and field records could be in jeopardy next month, as a handful of nationally recognized Treasure Valley athletes take aim at Idaho history.

Penn State signee Michael Slagowski of Rocky Mountain — who won a national indoor title last month — is among an elite group of local athletes with an opportunity to break into the national rankings this spring.

BOYS TO WATCH

Sam Brixey, Capital: He swept the 100 and 300 hurdles at state in 2015 and owns the state’s top time in the 110 this season (14.14 seconds, ranks 19th in nation). The Washington State commit is also a contender in the triple and long jumps.

Garrett Calhoun, Timberline: Last year’s state runner-up in the 800 and 1,600 took ninth in the New Balance Nationals Indoor meet in March (1:53.93). He is verbally committed to Oklahoma State, Timberline coach Rob Hindberg said.

Britt Ipsen, Capital: Won the long jump last season and holds the best marks in the state this year in the high jump (6 feet, 4 inches), long jump (22-5) and triple jump (46-5.5). The junior has interest from SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 schools, Capital coach Bryan Stith said.

Andre Jones, Mountain View: Placed in both the 110 and 300 hurdles last year, but he flashed his potential with a win over Brixey in the 300 hurdles last week at the Boise Relays. His twin brother, Adrian Jones, owns the nation’s top 2-kilometer steeplechase time this season in 6:08.94.

Luke Leonnig, Eagle: Although he did not perform to his potential at the 2015 state meet, Leonnig has the state’s best marks in the shot put (57-5) and discus (180-10) this season. His discus throw ranks 21st nationally and his shot put 45th.

Cory Mullanix, Centennial: The senior and Idaho State signee is the defending champion in the 100 and 200 meters, and he has the state’s top times in both events this season at 10.87 (100) and 22.0 (200).

Dejan Nikolic, Centennial: The defending champion in the high jump is coming off a win in the event at last week’s Boise Relays. His clearance of 6-4 is tied for first in the state.

Michael Slagowski, Rocky Mountain: He concluded the indoor season with a win in the 800 at New Balance Nationals. He is the favorite to repeat in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. He also won a state cross country title last fall. His best 800 this season (4:13.75) ranks eighth nationally.

John Varner, Eagle: The senior clocked the state’s fastest time in the 400 this season with a 49.6 at the Boise Relays, edging teammate James Love, a junior, by two-tenths of a second.

Isaiah White, Eagle: The senior has been right on Mullanix’s heels in the 100 and 200. White ranks second in the state in the 200 with a 22.17.

GIRLS TO WATCH

Tristin Bowens, Capital: The junior leads the state in the 100 (12.48) and 200 (25.83), and speed runs in the family. Her brother, Nic Bowens, was a sprinter at Utah State.

Sara Christianson, Borah: An injury kept her out of competition during cross country, but the senior and Oregon State signee will be a favorite in the distance races. She has the fastest times in the 1,600 (4:57.31) and 3,200 (11:02.10). Her 1,600 time ranks 21st nationally.

Faith Dilmore, Rocky Mountain: The junior took second at state in the 800 last year and ranks among the top seven this season in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

McKenna Emerson, Eagle: Another distance specialist with top-three times statewide in the 800 (2:21.65) and 1,600 (5:11.51). The sophomore took third in the state cross country meet last fall to help Eagle win the team title.

Eve Jensen, Boise: The freshman took second at the state cross country meet in the fall and ranks second behind Christianson in the 3,200 this spring with a time of 11:16.56.

Tatyana Jones, Centennial: The senior is the Valley’s only female returning state champion. She won the 300 hurdles and ranks first in the event this season with a top time of 46.51.

Taylen Langin, Rocky Mountain: Lewiston senior Cecilia Watkins won last year’s state pole vault title with a clearance of 11-6. Langin, a freshman, cleared 12-0 on March 31 to lead the state.

Kaylee Oyler, Rocky Mountain: Won the 400 as a freshman, but she has finished eighth the past two seasons. The junior is versatile, as she also ranks second in the 100 this season (12.62).

Tori Sloan, Mountain View: The sophomore ranks second in the state in the high jump (5-4) and long jump (17-2.25). She was the 2015 state runner-up in the high jump and added a sixth-place finish in the long jump.

Kari Taylor, Capital: The junior took fourth in the 800 at state in 2015 and is tops in the event this year with a time of 2:17.71.

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