BOISE — After walking back to the Idaho Falls High School tent after the medal ceremony for the 5A boys 300-meter hurdles Saturday, senior Dakota Baker was met by teammate and fellow senior Jake Wright.
Wright extended a hand, said, “We’re done with high school sports,” and gave Baker a final bro hug and pat on the back.
Saturday’s final day of the 5A/4A state track championships was the last time the two seniors and longtime teammates competed in Idaho Falls uniforms, and they went out winning a combined five medals.
Along with teammates Bryce Frazee and Clayton Powell, they both shared medals from taking second in the 5A boys 4x200 in 1:29.19 — the first top three finish for an I.F. boys relay team at 5A state track since 2011 — and taking sixth in the 4x100 in 46.09. Wright also ran 49.13 to finish second in the 400 and Baker finished third in the 300 hurdles (39.25) and fifth in the 110 hurdles (15.28).
While holding his medals, Baker couldn’t quite grasp his career with Wright was over.
“Jake’s my best friend,” Baker said. “We always have been ever since I was a little kid. It’s awesome to see him succeed. It’s kind of a sad thing it’s all over.”
Wright was just as reflective and agreed with Baker that the friendships from sports meant just as much — if not more — than their medals.
“My whole relay team, I’m close with all these guys,” Wright said. “I’ve been a three-sport athlete for four years. I don’t know what to do now. It’s good to be done, but at the same time, I’m gonna miss it.”
Madison High School senior Daniel Bruton ended his career earlier in the day by clearing 6 feet, 8 inches to repeat as 5A boys high jump state champion.
Bruton, who will serve an LDS mission after graduation and will likely pursue college track, dedicated his season and his medal to teammate Rhett Jensen, who could not compete this year for health reasons.
“This year, I always think of it as he was my inspiration,” Bruton said. “What he’s given to me, I want to give back to him.”