Teams from the Post Register coverage area took home two individual gold medals and 10 team trophies from Saturday’s Idaho high school cross-country championships at Lewiston Orchards in north Idaho.
District 91 claimed multiple trophies in the 4A races for the second year in a row. Idaho Falls repeated as 4A boys champions 72-92 over Preston while the Idaho Falls girls claimed the fourth place trophy by one point over fellow District 6 team Shelley, 130-131. Skyline’s girls took the second place trophy by three points (55-58) to Bishop Kelly and the Grizz boys placed fourth on a tiebreaker.
“We’re proud of their efforts,” Idaho Falls coach Alan McMurtrey said. “I think six out of our seven boys PRed. The girls just barely got their (trophy). It was very competitive.”
The 4A boys individual title came down to the same two runners for the second consecutive year and the result was the same. Bishop Kelly senior Nick Russell won in 15 minutes, 11.3 seconds for this third consecutive individual gold and Erikson took second in 15:15.2. It was the fourth time this season Russell and Erikson raced each other and Russell’s first win in as many meetings. McMurtrey said it was mostly shoulder to shoulder between Erikson and Russell. Taking third in 15:15.9 was Erikson’s teammate, sophomore Mitchell Athay, who led the race with about 800 meters.
“Mitchell kinda put his name on the map with the way he ran,” McMurtrey said. “It was pretty epic.”
Also medaling for Idaho Falls was Reed Eddington (17th in 16:07.9). Leading the Idaho Falls girls and getting medals were Jennalee Lewis (17th in 19:29.8) and Hannah Kohler (20th in 19:36.5).
A year after the Grizzlies placed four in the top 10 to claim a program first girls cross-country state title 54-58 over Twin Falls, Skyline had another nailbiter state meet Saturday with Bishop Kelly. The Grizzlies’ top five runners finished in the top 28 as compared to Bishop Kelly’s top five finishing in the top 26. The team title was decided by Bishop Kelly No. 5 runner Molly Fuller.
“After watching the race, I figured we were really close,” Skyline coach Sean Schmidt said by phone.”The girls were disappointed with a second place trophy, but they seem to be doing okay now.”
Skyline’s Sariah Harrison repeated as 4A girls individual runner-up in a new personal best and school record time of 17:54.4. She was one of nine girls to break the 18-minute barrier during Saturday’s meet and one of three in the 4A race, which was won for the second year in a row by Twin Falls’ Mattalyn Geddes (17:29.5).
Two of Harrison’s teammates, junior Macy Olson (fifth in 18:51.7) and senior Breanne Herrmann (ninth in 19:04.3), also medaled. On the boys’ side, Skyline’s Dallin Hart medaled with a fifth place finish in 15:32.1. Skyline’s other lead five boys placed in the top 52, but it was No. 6 boy, junior Hunter Young, who gave the Grizzlies the fourth place trophy over Pocatello. Young finished ahead of Pocatello’s No. 6 boy, which served as a tiebreaker for the identical team scores of 150.
“They were so very excited,” Schmidt said. “They really had a great day of running. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without all our boys.”
Other 4A medalists from District 6 were Shelley’s Karlie Callahan (seventh in 18:55.3) and Bonneville’s Breanna Bohney (18th in 19:31.8) in the girls race and Shelley’s Keagan Andersen (19th in 16:10.6) in the boys race.
District 6 also claimed historic trophies in 3A and 2A. A year after completing its first sweep of the 3A team titles, Sugar-Salem did it again Saturday. The girls won 45-63 over Timberlake while the boys won their fourth consecutive title 40-76 over Snake River.
The titles bring Sugar-Salem head coach Brett Hill's total to 40 combined championships in track and cross-country in 26 years of coaching in Idaho.
The Diggers returned numerous runners from last year’s girls team, but had an underclassmen laden boys team. Hill said he had anticipated Parma to give his boys a run, but fellow eastern Idaho team Snake River proved to be the Diggers’ biggest competition.
“Snake River ran out of their heads,” Hill said by phone. “My hat’s off to them. When you bring a young team to state, especially young boys, you never wonder how that’s gonna turn out. Some people may think it’s easy to win these state titles. Every year it gets tougher because that target on your back gets bigger.”
Leading the Digger boys was senior Kooper Williams, who ran 15:23.8 to win by 37 seconds. That time bettered his personal best and school record time of 15:45.2 from the annual Bob Firman Invitational on Sept. 22. Hill said it is the fastest time by any boy he has coached.
Williams’ teammates Kaysen Klingler (fifth in 16:12.5), Parker Galbriath (10th in 16:36.8), Brigham Dalling (11th in 16:39.9) also medaled.
Sarenady Price led Sugar-Salem in the girls’ race with a second place time of 19:13.5. Price’s teammates Jaresa Jackson (12th in 19:58.9), Jade Jackson (13th in 20:06.5), Emma Bird (14th in 20:10.7), Carlee Anderson (20:18.8) and Ryley Klingler (19th in 20:28.2) also medaled. Fruitland freshman Emma Hillam won the 3A girls individual title in 18:47.8 ahead of Price and Weiser’s Abbey Shirts, respectively.
“The race went out really quick,” Hill said. “Sarenady, we talked all week about our goal of sticking with Abbey Shirts and move away from her in the last little bit. She did that. Problem is there was this little freshman that surprised us. Hillam, she’s a phenom.”
Other local 3A medalists were Snake River’s Braidon Stokes (third in 16:00.5), Snake River’s Lorenzo High (fourth in 16:03), Snake River’s Lincoln High (13th in 16:47.9) and Teton’s Sara Bagley (ninth in 19:49.9).
In 2A, the Salmon boys claimed their first team title 49-79 over Soda Springs. Salmon had taken second by one point to Soda Springs a year ago, and Saturday’s win snapped a five-year streak of Soda Springs boys titles.
“They definitely earned it,” Salmon coach Cecil Jackson said by phone. “Last year that one point, it stayed with them. This year, they knew what they wanted to accomplish.”
Salmon’s Andy Gebhardt won the individual title in 15:55 while teammate John Simmons was second in 16:00. Two of their teammates also medaled: Treygan Bragg (12th in 16:55.4) and Nathan Deschaine (15th in 17:05.7). Gebhardt is Salmon’s first individual boys champion since Brian Corbett in 1987.
“It was good to know I left it all out there,” Gebhardt said. “We did what we wanted to do.”
Jackson and Gebhardt added that getting the historic win over a program like Soda Springs made it more rewarding.
“(Soda Springs head coach) Jeff (Horsley) has a phenomenal program,” Jackson said. “They’re the example we’ve been trying to follow.”
The Ririe boys placed third with a score of 91, getting medals from Logan Kearsley (sixth in 16:35.4), Stetson Machen (14th in 17:05.2) and Kohl Marion (18th in 17:13.2).
The Soda Springs girls added to their all-sport, all-classification, all-Idaho state title streak by winning their 13th consecutive title 47-80 over Bear Lake. Elli Kelsey of Bear Lake won the 2A girls race in 18:24.3.
Other local 2A medalists were West Jefferson’s Elizabeth Spencer (seventh in 19:28.5), Salmon’s Cherish Duncan (16th in 20:26), Firth’s Cassi Robbins (18th in 20:29.2), Salmon’s Keyra Bragg (19th in 20:30), West Jefferson’s Hyrum Spencer (seventh in 16:42.7) North Fremont’s Max Palmer (16th in 17:11.3) and North Fremont’s Asher Johnston (17th in 17:12).
Behind five top 35 finishes in the 5A meet, the Madison boys placed third with a score of 93. Per Post Register data going back to 1994, that is the highest Madison boys have finished at a state meet in that time. Medaling for the Bobcats were Spencer Stutz (second in 15:15.1) and Will Dixon (17th in 16:12.1).
Thunder Ridge’s Stetson Moss also medaled for District 6 in the 5A boys race, placing third in 15:18.3. Two of his teammates medaled for the first-year school in the 5A girls race: Hailey Thueson (12th in 18:21.1) and Jessica Moss (18th in 18:36.5).
Rigby’s Hailey Phillips also medaled, placing ninth in the 5A girls race in 18:05.3.
Borah’s Nathan Green (15:10.1) and Mountain View’s Lexy Halladay (17:08.8) claimed the 5A individual titles. Halladay’s title made her the first 5A girl to win three in a row. The Rocky Mountain boys won their third consecutive title 48-49 over Timberline while Boise won the girls title 39-64 over Eagle.
Butte County’s Natalya Babcock accounted for the area’s lone medal in 1A, placing fourth in 19:23.1 in the girls race. Oakley won the girls team title 70-76 over Troy and Liberty Charter repeated as boys champion 41-63 over Valley and also had an individual champion, Caleb Hamblin (15:34.9)