Salmon and Sugar-Salem jumped out to early leads after seven events at the small school Track and Field Championships at Middleton High School on Friday, both holding 11 point leads on their nearest competitors.

Sugar’s 45 points is 11 better than Timberlake’s second-place number, and Salmon’s 43 leads the 2A field ahead of No. 2 West Side.

Sugar’s Kooper Williams claimed the first title of the championships for the Diggers, cruising to victory in the 3,200 with a time of 9 minutes, 38.53 seconds – two seconds faster than Timberlake’s Logan Hunt, and 14 faster than bronze medalist Kaysen Klingler (Sugar).

“I was going to run my own race (and) I waited until it felt right and went for it,” Williams said. “This is a good ending. It all pays off here.”

Also finishing in the top 3 for Sugar on Thursday were Gerohm Rihari and Hadley Miller in the long jump, as well as the 1,600 sprint medley team of Jessie Fogle, Brayton Pope, Braxton Ostermiller and Williams.

Also representing District 6 in the top 3 on Friday was South Fremont senior Edwin Smith who was third in the shot put.

In the 2A boys ranks, Salmon sophomore Johnathon Simmons claimed the 3,200 title with a time of 9:46.63, pulling away from the pack in the final lap and holding on to win by 1.5 seconds.

“I wanted to stay with the guys who have good kicks at the end (and) it came down to that last 800,” Simmons said. “I knew I had to pick it up. If I had the strong mental game, I was going to win. I convinced myself of that and called it good.”

Also posting top 3 finishes for Salmon on Friday were Owen Tarkalson (pole vault), Dylan Vanderschaaf (triple jump) and Brax Kauffman (discus).

Also representing the Nuclear Conference, multiple sport North Fremont star won the pole vault by six inches, clearing 6 feet, 6 inches to claim 2A gold.

Fellow Nuke athletes Trey Yearsley (Ririe) and Josh Jolley (Firth) finished 2-3 in the shot put competition, respectively.

GIRLS

The Gooding Senators opened the state championships with 40 points on Day 1 to lead the Sugar-Salem Diggers by five points entering today’s competition. Jade Jackson had the best finish of the day for the Diggers, placing second in the high jump.

West Jefferson is carrying the District 6 banner in the 2A championships at Middleton, sitting in fourth place after Friday’s competition, 12 back of Melba.

Mayla Ivie is a big part of that opening-day total for the Panthers, finishing second in the discus and third in the shot put. West Jefferson’s Mckenzie Sermon also had a solid finish with a silver medal in the triple jump.

Also representing the Nuclear conference in the field events, Firth’s Tara Butler and Dallas Sutton each placed third, competing in the high jump and long jump, respectively.

In the 1A ranks, Leadore’s Paige Ramsey did her best Hollie Tyler impression with a runner-up finish in the shot put, and Natalya Babcock honored her Arco roots with a third-place finish in the 3,200 for Butte County.