Pocatello freshman Elijah Armstrong edges out Twin Falls senior Erik Harris by 1/100 of a second (4:23.66 vs 4:23.67) to win the 4A 1600 meter title during the Idaho Track and Field Championships on May 19, 2012 at Middleton High School, Middleton, Idaho.
Another state track and field meet is in the books. It’s still one of my favorite events. Part of the fun is meeting all the people involved in putting on the event. I had a chance to talk to former Twin Falls track and field coach, Jerry Kleinkopf, who was attending his 60th state meet.
The construction at Bronco Stadium required a shift in venues. So this year, instead of all five classifications competing at Boise State University, each classification held its meet at a different location. So you had to choose what meet you were going to attend.
I missed the two back to back record setting performances in the 4A meet with the girls and boys 3200M records falling. Bishop Kelly’s Emily Nist record performance added another reason to consider her as one of Idaho best ever high school distance runners. Her 10:45.66 eclipsed Eagle’s Liz Brandon’s 2009 time of 10:51.28. Twin Fall’s Erik Harris continued his 2012 fast streak with a 9:04.13 3200M to best Bonneville’s Jed Barta’s 1999 time of 9:06.58.
My plan was to catch the 4A 1600M where I thought both records had a good chance of being broken. Nist and Harris both had times this season that were below the state meet records, so it was ironic that both ending up finishing second in this event. But given that they both set records in the 3200M the night before and competed in the 800M less than an hour before the 1600M, it wasn’t too big of an upset. Especially considering who won the events, Hannah McInturff 800 meter champion and Elijah Armstrong, one of the fastest male freshman distance runners in the hisotry of the state.
Harris ran a 4:09.73 at the Chandler Rotary Invitational 1600 meter run on March 24, 2012 in Chandler, Arizona. This was the fastest 1600 meter time by an Idaho high schooler since Highland’s Marty Stroschein ran 4:07.29 on June 6, 1985 at the Golden West Invitational. The year that Stroschein ran that time, he didn’t win the 1600M either. At that time an athlete could only compete in two of the three distance events. Stroschein passed on the 1600M at state and competed in the 800M and 3200M where he held both state records. The two enent restriction rule was eliminated in 1992.
While I missed the 3200M records I was around to see the big jump performances at the 5A meet led by Brittany Owens new state meet record in the long jump.
Borah senior Brittany Owens long jumps during the 5A Idaho Track and Field Championships on May 19, 2012 at Rocky Mountain High School, Meridian, Idaho. Owens went 19-05.50 to break her state meet record of 19-01 set on May 21, 2010. Owens ended her high school track and field career as a six time state champion winning the long jump and triple jump titles for the past three years.
Thanks for stopping by to take a look. -Gregg