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The Bell Lap: New Idaho All-Time No. 1's Attained
Rigby's Eli Taylor and Capital's Christine Huckins continue to re-write the record books
Published: 4/23/2024 2:12:53 PM
Marlowe Hereford
Contributing Writer
 

ORDER GAME PHOTOS

It is still April, and new names have moved to the top of Idaho's all-time lists in the boys 300 hurdles and girls 200.

Since April 13, Rigby senior Eli Taylor has broken Idaho's all-time boys 300 hurdles record twice and Capital sophomore Christine Huckins has become the fastest on record ever in Idaho for the girls 200.

Taylor's win in the boys 300 hurdles in 37.53 on April 13 at Boise Relays broke Peyton Bair's Idaho all-time record of 37.54 from 2019, and he lowered that record even more with a win in 37.51 this past weekend at his home meet, the Rigby Physical Therapy Invitational. His 37.51 is currently No. 22 in the U.S. 

The Boise Relays win was especially significant to the defending 5A boys 300 state runner-up as it provided redemption from the Patriot Invite on April 6.

"The meet before, I fell in the 3s," Taylor said during Rigby's April 18 practice. "I really just wanted to have redemption. I just went out well and was full sprinting."

Taylor was able to see his time before he finished in Boise.

"The clock was there the whole time I was racing," Taylor said. "I my last 100 meters, I was like, 'Whoa, I'm going fast.' It's awesome. Super cool. A lot of work paid off."

Taylor is the latest of numerous hurdlers in his family, most recently following in the footsteps of older brother Nathan (Rigby class of 2022) and older sister Brooklyn (Rigby class of 2020). His dad also hurdled. 

Like his family before him, he has won state medals. He also has a specific goal in mind for his final season at Rigby.

"My dad never got first at state," he said. "My brother and my sister never got first at state. We've all gotten second. We call it the Taylor curse. I want to break the Taylor curse and get first."

Taylor and Rigby head track coach James Parrish both attributed Taylor's accomplishments thus far this season to the work he did over the winter.

"I didn't expect this in early April," Parrish said of Taylor's all-time record. "Was I surprised by his ability? No. The gym time he put in this winter...I had over 80 kids weight training. He is a student of his events. Eli's always been like that."

"(I was) lifting weights, working so I don't get injured this season," Taylor said.

Taylor has also contributed to two school records since April 13 as a member of Rigby's boys 4x100 and 4x200 teams. Taylor and 4x200 teammates Keanan Humphreys, Treycen Hall and Cody Cordingley first broke their school record with their 1:27.6 win at Boise Relays before lowering it to 1:26.84 with a win at their home meet, moving them to No. 2 all-time in Idaho. The same four athletes tied their school record in the 4x100 with a win in 42.91 at Boise Relays and broke it with 42.16 in their Rigby Physical Therapy Invitational win, moving them to a tie for No. 4 all-time in Idaho.

Taylor runs the first leg for both relays.

"It's nice when you have so many veterans that work well with the younger athletes," Parrish said. "It's good motivation."

Taylor said his favorite event is the 300 hurdles, an event he hated as a freshman. He added that he hopes to run track in college.

Before pursuing an opportunity at the next level, however, he has his sights on making more history in his events.

"This season, I really want to hit 36 (in the 300s)," Taylor said. "I want to hit 13s in the 110s. I really want to do well at state."

For perspective, no one in Idaho has ever broken 37 seconds in the boys 300 hurdles, and only 2022 Emmett graduate Landon Helms has broken 14 seconds in the 110 hurdles. Helms, now at Texas A & M, ran 13.67 at the 2022 4A state meet. Taylor is coming off a second-place finish in the 110 hurdles at the Rigby Physical Therapy Invitational, where he ran 14.38 and Hillcrest's Mason Edwards won in 14.20. Those are the two fastest times thus far this season in Idaho in the event.

Huckins, one of two girls to break 12 seconds in the 100 thus far this season, officially became Idaho's fastest girl on record in the 200 meters with her 24.57 winning time over the weekend at the Knight Invite. She joins Century senior Matejah Mangum as the only two girls in Idaho to ever break 24.60 for the 200. Huckins is currently undefeated in both the 100 and 200 this season and has contributed to a combined total of five wins in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. Not only is Capital leading Idaho this season with its girls 4x100 time of 48.04 and girls 4x200 time of 1:41.92, but that 4x100 time by Lee Bailey-Dennis, Stella Gray, Kennedy Patterson and Huckins is the fastest on record ever for Idaho and that 4x200 time by Patterson, Eden Francis, Huckins and Gray is currently No. 3 all-time in Idaho.


Boise places second at Oregon Relays, several Idahoans place

Boise came away with second place in the combined boys and girls team standings at the Oregon Relays at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.

The Brave compiled 94 points in the two-day meet in Eugene, taking second to Wilson (Long Beach, Calif.), which won the meet with 117 points. Wilson broke four meet records and won six relays.

Boise's Noe Kemper won the varsity boys 2k steeplechase in 5:53.08, a personal best time which puts him No. 3 in the U.S. this season. Teammate Allie Bruce placed second in the varsity girls 2k steeplechase in a personal best 7:01.58, putting her at No. 5 in the U.S.

Also for the Brave, Autumn Shomaker placed second in varsity girls long jump with 17-8, Sophia Clark was fifth in the varsity girls 400 in 57.10 and Grace Lanfear was third in the varsity girls 300 hurdles in a personal best 44.31, the fastest in the event thus far this season in Idaho.

Boise's varsity girls 4x400 team of Grace Lanfear, Lily Vertrees, Audrey Orme and Sophia Clark placed third in 3:57.62, its varsity girls distance medley 4000 meter relay team of Bruce, Vertrees, Alex Terry and Orme placed fourth in 12:07.90 and its varsity girls 4x200 team of Lanfear, Shomaker, Adrienne Rassell and Clark placed fourth in 1:43.14. 

Boise's varsity boys distance medley 4000 meter relay team of Jack Sheesley, Cael Williams, Kaden Helder and Kemper placed second in 10:07.59 and the varsity boys 4x200 team of Eli Rich, Cooper Smith, Dylan Chambers and Chase Lawyer placed third in 1:29.08.

Also for the Brave boys, Jordan McDonald cleared 6-4 to place fourth in varsity boys high jump, Helder placed third in the varsity boys 800 in 1:54.04, Liam Hodson cleared 14-11.25 to place fifth in varsity boys pole vault and Kemper rounded out a 1-2-3 Idaho finish in the varsity boys 1-mile with a third place time of 4:14.47. 

Victory Charter's Luke Stockett won the varsity boys 1-mile in 4:12.87 while Meridian's Nate Stadtlander was second in 4:13.94.

Two freshman event titles went to Idaho. Timberline's Ruby Ihmels won the freshman girls 2-mile in 10:42.60--almost a 38 second margin--and Coeur d'Alene's Wyatt Carr won the freshman boys 2-mile in 9:24.39. Ihmels' time is currently No. 11 in the U.S. and No. 2 fastest for freshmen girls.

For reference, a 2-mile race is longer than a 3,200 meter race. Converted to metric, 3,200 meters equals 1.98 miles.

Idaho swept both Oregon Relays varsity shot put titles. Centennial's Kai Twaddle Dunham won boys shot put with a personal best 61-3, which puts him at No. 22 in the U.S. this season and moves him to No. 7 all-time in Idaho. Bonners Ferry's Asha Abubakari won girls shot put with 42-7. Additionally, Mountain View's Joseph Miraya (third place, 55-4.75), Meridian's Blake Johns (fifth place, 54-4) and Mountain View's Kami Clayton (fifth place, 37-1) placed in varsity shot put.

In varsity discus, Twaddle Dunham placed second in the boys final with 180-6 and Mountain View's Madilyn McMcCarty placed fourth in the girls final with a personal best 127-2. Twaddle Dunham is also currently in the top 25 in the U.S. in boys discus, as his personal best and No. 6 Idaho all-time mark of 187-6 from April 6 is the No. 21 best mark in the nation.

Mountain View's Beau Stewart placed sixth in the freshman boys 100 in 11.32 and Vallivue's David Gummersall placed fifth in the varsity boys 400 in 48.54. Gummersall is the only Idaho boy to break 49 seconds for the 400 so far this season.

Mountain View's Rilyn Stevens placed sixth in the varsity girls 2-mile in a personal best and current No. 8 U.S. time of 10:38.23, Eagle's Andrew Ringert was sixth in the varsity boys 2-mile in 9:08.23 (No. 9 in the U.S.), Centennial's Chase McOmber was fifth in the varsity boys 800 in a personal best 1:54.97 and Mountain View's varsity boys 4x100 team of Cohen Deno, Owen McBride, Garrett Freeman and Jacob Allen placed fourth in 42.57.


Statement marks all around

Big time marks were not limited to Oregon Relays for Idaho track athletes. From east Idaho to St. Maries to the Treasure Valley, impressive finishes were everywhere over the weekend.

In addition to the Taylor-Edwards showdown in boys hurdles at the Rigby Physical Therapy Invitational, Rigby's Abbie Scott bettered her school record by clearing 12-9 to win girls pole vault at her home meet. That mark puts the Utah State signee tied for No. 25 in the U.S. currently. She is the only girls pole vaulter in Idaho this season to clear 12 feet.

Also at Rigby, the fastest times in the state thus far this season were recorded in the 100 prelims. Idaho Falls' Parker Elliott won the boys 100 in 10.82, but it was his prelim time of 10.60 that stood out. That is the first sub-10.7 time of the season in Idaho for the boys 100 and is also an all-time eastern Idaho best and puts him at No. 11 all-time in Idaho. He also won the boys 200 title at the meet in 21.95.

In the girls 100 final, Century's Matejah Mangum won in 12.04 but ran a personal best 11.82 the day before in prelims, making her the fourth Idaho girl ever on record to break 11.9 and the third to do so during a high school season (Huckins ran 11.51 at a club meet last summer). That 11.82 also surpasses the 11.83 wind legal time by Claire Petersen of Skyline from last season's 4A District 6 championships as fastest on record in Idaho for the event during a high school season. Mangum also won the 200 at Rigby in 25.08.

At the DirectCom Invitational in Pocatello, Marsh Valley's Lydia Townsend won the girls 100 hurdles in 14.73, the first sub-15 second time of the season thus far in Idaho in the event.

At the Knight Invite in Boise, Bishop Kelly's Rakeem Johnson won boys discus at his home meet with a personal best 190-1, the best mark in Idaho this season in the event, currently No. 14 in the U.S. and putting him at No. 3 all-time in Idaho.

At the Lumberjack Invitational in St. Maries, Orofino's Lindi Kessinger won girls discus with a personal best 145-3, moving her to No. 7 all-time in Idaho.


On the horizon

The biggest meet in eastern Idaho--and one of the oldest meets in the state--takes place this weekend in Idaho Falls.

The annual Tiger-Grizz Invitational begins Friday and concludes Saturday at Ravsten Stadium. Not counting 2020, when the meet did not take place due to COVID-19, this weekend marks the 50th edition of the meet.

As of Sunday evening, 41 teams from all five classifications are registered for the meet. 





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