MIDDLETON — Following the first day of competition at Middleton High School, Sugar-Salem is on track to win both boys and girls 3A state track and field titles.
Firth and Salmon are in a fierce battle for 2A girls dominance, and the Challis girls are lurking in the 1A weeds with their strongest events scheduled for today.
Lacey Hamilton got things going for the Sugar-Salem girls, finishing second in the discus and shot put competitions to score 16 of her team’s 38.5 Day 1 points.
Filling in for injured distance running standout Olivia Redd, Shaylee Hill got the Diggers eight more points with a runner-up finish in the 3,200 meter run. Sugar-Salem’s sprint medley scored six more with a third-place finish.
“Our girls are stepping up and have rallied,” Sugar-Salem coach Brett Hill said. “Our girls are performing across the board, and basically they are right where they should be after today.”
The Diggers lead second-place Payette by 5.5 points, and are well ahead of their closest District 6 rival Shelley, who is in fifth with 19.5.
Rounding out the list of eastern Idaho’s top-3 finishers, Snake River’s Scout Baldwin was second in the high jump.
On the boys side in 3A, Sugar opened an eight-point lead on Timberlake, thanks in part to a 1-2 finish from Ryan Hawkes in the long jump and triple jump, respectively. Connor Stoddard also pitched in with a bronze in the 3,200.
“Our boys are doing pretty well too, and have actually out-performed in almost everything we needed to do today,” Hill said. “Right now, we’re looking great.”
Also looking great was Shelley sophomore and defending 3A cross-country champion Austin Stewart, who won the 3,200. He will run the mile today, and is the favorite to win that race as well.
“Cross-country has a lot more scenery and you have to know when to get going, but the curves in track throw you off a little bit, and the cadence is different,” he said. “Anything could happen tomorrow, but I feel pretty good about my chances in the mile.”
Teton, Shelley and Snake River helped eastern Idaho dominate the boys 3A sprint medley, finishing 1-2-3.
In 2A girls, Salmon senior Charis Tuitama won the shot put by nearly four feet with a push of 38 feet, 3 inches, and teammate Tiffany Porter added six more points with a bronze in the event.
Porter had beaten Tuitama in meets all season before Tuitama finally got her at districts.
“Tiffany was my motivation, because I’ve been coming in second to her all season,” Tuitama said. “I am lucky to have a teammate who throws as far as she does.”
Salmon’s Deshka Olson added eight more points with a silver in the pole vault, but none of it was enough to reel in Firth, which took an 11-point lead over the rival Savages 42-31.
Though Firth didn’t win any individual events, the Cougars scored points all over the stadium, with 2-3 finishes in the long jump by Britton Bean and Kayla Jensen, as well as a runner-up performance by Bailey Nelson in the discus.
On the boys side in 2A, Firth’s 12.5 points were good for eighth place, tops among District 6 schools
Ririe pole vaulter T.J. Thacker was second in the pole vault, and Salmon’s Billy Godfrey finished third in the 3,200.
The Challis girls set a classification record in the sprint medley with a time of 1:53.38, breaking Timberline’s 2012 record of 1:53.83. Challis’ Maria Reyes and Jenna Nelson finished 1-2 in the pole vault, and Macy Hansen and Daisy Bernal were second and third in the 3,200 and high jump, respectively.
The Mackay girls led all 1A District 6 schools in fifth-place with 17 points, three points better than eighth-place Butte County.
Mackay’s Cheyenne James rounded out the top-three finishes for D6 girls with a bronze in the discus.
On the boys side in 1A, Mackay finished Day 1 with four points, and Challis (one point) and Butte County (0.33) accounted for the remainder of the D6 scoring.