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The Bell Lap: Statement Times, Marks Achieved At Boise Relays
40 teams flocked to Mountain View last weekend for the Boise Relays
Published: 4/16/2024 1:54:30 PM
Marlowe Hereford
Contributing Writer


Athletes from small schools and big schools alike came away with impressive finishes at one of the biggest meets of the season Saturday.

A total of 40 teams competed at the annual Boise Relays at Mountain View High School, site of next month's 5A and 4A state championships, and it featured some of the best performances of the season thus far.

"I got great feedback fom coaches and kids from other schools," said Boise distance coach and meet director Aaron Olswanger by phone on Monday. "Mountain View was an amazing host. Their entire coaching staff was around if I needed anything. As a meet director, the level of competition and number of teams that came in this year, I am humbled. We want it to be an all-inclusive meet."

Each individual event winner and the winning relay teams received a custom Boise Relays baton with the event name printed on it.

"That was an original thing with the Boise Relays,"  Olswanger said. "It's a really cool thing. The kids love it. I bought two years supply of batons then we do the printing in the winter."

Boise claimed both the boys and girls team titles with 131.5 and 118.5 points, respectively. Noe Kemper went 1-2 with Boise teammate Cooper Smith in the boys 400 with times of 49.41 and 49.64, personal bests for both, and Jordan McDonald cleared 6-4 to win boys high jump. Kemper ran 6:00.73 to win boys 2k steeplechase, which he will compete in at Oregon Relays this weekend. He won the event at last year's Nike Outdoor Nationals. The boys 800 was a close race, with Meridian's Nate Stadtlander winning in 1:52.35 and Boise's Kaden Helder placing second in 1:52.58.

Olswanger had high praise for Kemper, Helder and Jack Sheesley and their spring so far. Sheesley was second in Saturday's 1,600 in 4:18.47 and sixth in the 800 in a personal best 1:57.76.

"Those are the best distance and mid-distance boys I've had at once time," Olswanger said. 

On the girls side, Grace Lanfear won 300 hurdles in 44.77. Boise teammate Autumn Shomaker bounced back from fouls the previous week at Arcadia Invitational in a big way, winning girls long jump  in a personal best 18-9.5, which moved her to No. 6 all-time ever in Idaho. Shomaker and Lanfear teamed up with Adrienne Russell and Sophia Clark to win the girls 4x200 in 1:42.73. 

"It's the true sign of a well-rounded track program," Olswanger said of his relay girls. "The do come from different backgrounds--sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers. They're a veteran group of girls."

Boise also claimed two co-ed events. Juniper Ammirati, Charlie Wells, Lanfear and Chase Lawyer won the mixed 4x100 shuttle hurdle relay in 1:04.70 and Clark, Allie Bruce, Kemper and Helder won the mixed 4x400 in 3:42.27.

Boise will be one of a dozen Idaho teams traveling to the Oregon Relays this weekend.

"We're a very process oriented group, take it day by day and step by step," Olswanger said. "The maturity and the ability for them to rise to big occasions, this group has been doing that every week. They're a bunch of kids who love the sport."

Several other athletes from multiple classifications broke through for big wins at Boise Relays. Rigby senior Eli Taylor won the boys 300 hurdles in 37.53, a personal best, a school record and the new No. 1 all-time fastest ever recorded in the event in Idaho. The previous fastest of 37.54 in 2019 was by Kimberly's Peyton Bair, now a decathlete at Mississippi State. Taylor also teamed up with Keanan Humphreys, Treycen Hall and Cody Cordingley for the 4x200 win in a school record 1:27.70, which is No. 6 all-time in Idaho.

Centennial's Kolton Osborn, Idaho's defending 5A boys 100 state champion, picked up his third win this season in the 100 on Saturday in 10.87. McCall-Donnelly's Van Vinson, one of Idaho's top returning 3A vaulters from last season, claimed his third pole vault win this spring upon clearing 14-6 to win Saturday.

Idaho Falls senior Luke Athay, competing in his first outdoor track season since 2022 after missing 16 months due to a stress fracture and surgery, won the boys 1,600 in a personal best 4:17.31 and the 3,200 in a season best 9:20.83. Also from 4A, Bishop Kelly's Cam Davis remained undefeated this season in boys long jump with his winning mark of 22-2.25.

Capital sophomore Christine Huckins won the girls 100 in 11.94, the first sub-12 second time in Idaho thus far this season in the event, and she teamed up with Eden Francis, Stella Gray and Grace Russell to win the 4x100 in 48.37, which is No. 4 all-time in Idaho. The girls 2k steeplechase also went to Capital, as Lily Sullivan won in 7:22.06 for her second time running the event in her high school career.

Mountain View's Quincy Keller claimed the girls 200 in a personal best 24.65, moving her to No. 6 all-time in Idaho, and her teammate Rilyn Stevens won the 1,600 in 4:59.62, the first sub-five minute time of her career. 

Defending 5A girls pole vault state champion Abbie Scott of Rigby cleared 11-9 to win the event Saturday and remain undefeated in the event this season. Timberline freshman Nadja Buckholder remained undefeated in triple jump this season upon claiming the event title with 36-11.25.

A pair of 3A girls remained undefeated in their events with wins Saturday. Coeur d'Alene Charter's Annabelle Carr made the trip from north Idaho and won the girls 800 in a personal best 2:17.44 and Weiser's Kailee Lerew won the 400 in a personal best 58.63.

On the Horizon

Boise is not the only Idaho team headed to the University of Oregon's Hayward Field this weekend for Oregon Relays. The Brave will be joined in Eugene by Coeur d'Alene, Eagle, Centennial, Coeur d'Alene Charter, Meridian, Mountain View, Bonners Ferry, Post Falls, Timberline, Vallivue and Victory Charter. National caliber programs such as Cuthbertson (N.C.), Herriman (Utah) and Crater (Ore.) are registered.

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