RIRIE — Another district track meet, another addition to the trophy cases of Salmon and West Jefferson High Schools.
By early evening Thursday at Ririe High School’s track after an afternoon of everything from sleet, wind and sun to timing equipment malfunctions, it was made official. Salmon compiled 130 points to win its third consecutive 2A District 6 boys track title and West Jefferson, which made history last year at Firth by winning its first ever girls track district title, repeated on the girls side with 125 points.
Huge second-day performances lifted West Jefferson and Salmon to their three-peat and repeat titles. For West Jefferson, it came in the form of 88 points through eight of Thursday’s nine running event finals. Panthers head coach Melinda Schwieder said the idea of winning last year didn’t occur to her at all until it was official that they had won their first district title after coming from behind in day two. This year was a bit more nervewracking.
“For me, it’s not about winning,” Schwieder said. “It’s about the kids performing well and getting them to state. We didn’t have a great day (Tuesday in field event finals). Firth did and Salmon did. From what I’d gathered, we were up nine points after Tuesday. This year, I’d have to say it was definitely more stressful.”
Seniors Jordi Holdaway and McKenzie Sermon noticed that difference from a year ago also.
“It was definitely more competitive (this year),” said Sermon, who won girls long jump and triple jump on Tuesday.
Holdaway and Sermon helped West Jefferson’s cause in a big way Thursday. Holdaway won the girls 100 (13.22), repeated as girls 100 hurdles champion (16.29), anchored the 4x100 to their third consecutive district win and placed second in the 200 between teammates Sage Wood (first in 26.81) and Cambree Hall. Wood, who placed second in Tuesday’s pole vault finals, also anchored the Panthers to a third consecutive 2A District 6 title in the girls 4x200 on Thursday and was part of the winning 4x100 team. Sermon was a member of both the winning 4x100 and 4x200 teams. Hall, a freshman, placed third in the 400 finals and another relay member, Malaika Rogers, placed third in the 100 finals.
Taking the top three spots in the 200 finals helped seal the deal, though, which is what Schwieder said she had hoped for since West Jefferson doesn’t have a 4x400 team.
“We didn’t know until we were told to come to the podium,” Holdaway said of the 1-2-3 finish.
“I knew there was a good chance of us doing that,” Schwieder said of the 1-2-3 finish. “Our girls performed to a T. Sage did great today. Laika had a big day today, too.”
Ririe High School finished fourth at the meet with a team score of 57.