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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2004


Celebrating Hailey’s first district girls’ title since 1985 are, from left, Syringa Stark, Jennifer Spinelli, Casey Fahey, Rebecca Schwartzenberger, coach J.C. Nemecek, Jenni Borda, Lindsay Niedrich, Amanda Moulton, Charlene Fields, Nini Casser and Aimee Loudenslager. Express photo by Jeff Cordes


Hailey nails down gold in SCIC track

First girls’ championship in 19 years

Express Staff Writer

Rachael Richards had a sore leg, but she saved a kick for the final lap of Thursday’s 1600-meter run and wrapped up a memorable two days for the Wood River girls’ track team on the ISDB track in Gooding.

A long-legged and determined junior, Richards swept the challenging long runs at the 800m, 1600m and 3200m distances and accounted for three of Wood River’s four gold medals. It all added up to an extremely rare team victory.

Wood River, with 143 points, outscored the runner-up Declo Hornets (127) by 16 points and earned its first district girls’ championship in a generation—19 years, in fact, dating to the Hailey dynasty of 1983-85.

Rachael Richards enjoys the feeling after sweeping the distance runs at district. Express photo by Jeff Cordes

Coach J.C. Nemecek said, "This group of girls amazed me the entire last month of the season with huge point totals from basically 13 girls. They are incredible. It’s one of those seasons I’ll never forget."

The Wolverines of coaches Nemecek, Sherri Koth, Dale Martin and Jeannie Bradshaw had 46 points in field events. But where the Wolverines really kicked Declo (7 golds) into second was with their 49-27 edge in distances.

Wood River also did well in the sprints, outscoring Declo 24-12. Another junior, Casey Fahey, won the 200m dash in a photo finish for Wood River’s other gold medal. She’ll enter state with the second-best qualifying time in the 200m. Her 26.4-second time put her at fourth on WR’s all-time list.

Point-scoring depth translated into victory at the May 12-13 six-school district meet for the Wolverines. They had nine seconds and four thirds, scoring 136 of their 143 points in firsts, seconds and thirds.

Those were the prized positions, of course, since the top three individuals and winning relays qualified for the 49th annual Idaho High School Track and Field Championships set for May 20-22 at Bronco Stadium, Boise.

In all, Wood River will send eight girls in 13 events and five boys in five events to the three-day state meet. Returning state qualifiers are Jessica King, Rebecca Schwartzenberger, Jennifer Spinelli, Syringa Stark, Rachael Richards and Matt Pruett.

Senior Jessica King, who had broken coach Bradshaw’s 36-year-old Hailey discus record the previous week, stretched her new standard by a foot with a 114-6 second-place throw at district. King also placed second in the discus.

Schwartzenberger was second at 100m (13.2 seconds) and Spinelli second in the 300m intermediate hurdles (52.5). Lindsay Niedrich finished a strong second to Richards in 1600m and 3200m. And Fahey came up with a second in long jump.

Stark, a junior, added 18 vital points with thirds in triple jump, high jump and discus. And Wood River wild-carded its 1600m girls’ relay to Boise, with Charlene Fields, Spinelli, Schwartzenberger and Stark.

But Wood River’s shining star was Richards (30 points individually), as dominant as Maureen McGinnis was in the distances for the 1983-85 Wolverine girls’ powerhouse.

Compared to her previous meet, Richards sliced 43 seconds off her times in the three runs. She set a personal record of 5:48.50 in winning the 1600m by four seconds, and she captured the 3200m by 17 seconds.

The Wood River boys, meantime, were disappointed Wednesday when senior Matt Pruett false-started in the 200m preliminaries. But Pruett bounced back Thursday to win the 100m dash in 11.20 seconds.

Alex Hamlin, another Hailey senior, won the 3200m run by four seconds in 10:43.9. Landing third places and state berths were Chris LeBlanc (800m), Scott Bartlett (long jump) and Corbin Miniard (shotput).

Kimberly’s 49 points in the field, 46 in sprints and 32 in relays guided the favored Bulldogs to a 134-123 team victory over the Filer Wildcats in the SCIC boys’ team standings. In third place was Gooding (117), and Wood River was fifth (46).


WOLVERINE NOTES—Wood River, which won its first district girls’ track field championship in 1970, was a Fourth District dynasty with three consecutive district titles from 1983-85 led by sprinter/high jumper Lisa Bernhagen and distance runner Maureen McGinnis.

Each year, the Wolverines of coach John Hopkins beat Jerome—93-65 in 1983, 103-74 in 1984 and 99-90 in 1985. Then they just fell short at the state meet, setting for state silver trophies in 1983 by a razor-thin 77.5 to 76 margin to Emmett, and also in 1985 by a 63-60 margin to Kellogg.

Among the seniors in 1985 who spent three years on the district winning teams were Kathy Lickliter Farrow, Cris Barker, Kim Csizmazia, Becky Mallane and Julie Gardner.

Here are Hailey placings from last week’s state qualifying district meet:

Final SCIC girls’ standings: 1—WR 143 points (46 field, 24 sprints, 8 hurdles, 49 distances, 16 relays). 2—Declo 127 (48 field, 12 sprints, 20 hurdles, 27 distances, 20 relays). 3—Filer 96. 4—Gooding 63. 5—Buhl 60. 6—Kimberly 56.

Final SCIC boys’ standings: 1—Kimberly 134 points (49 field, 46 sprints, 2 hurdles, 5 distances, 32 relays). 2—Filer 123 (34 field, 17 sprints, 36 hurdles, 0 distances, 36 relays). 3—Gooding 117. 4—Declo 97. 5—WR 46 (16 field, 10 sprints, 2 hurdles, 16 distances, 2 relays). 6—Buhl 38.


WRHS girls’ placings:

1—Rachael Richards 800m (2:31.30), 1600m (5:48.50) and 3200m (12:50.40); and Casey Fahey 200m (26.40).

2—Jessica King shotput (32-7 ½); and discus (114-6, school record); Casey Fahey long jump (15-8 ¼); Lindsay Niedrich 1600m (5:52.40) and 3200m (13:07.40); Jennifer Spinelli 300m intermediate hurdles (52.50); Rebecca Schwartzenberger 100m (13.20); 800m relay (Jennifer Spinelli, Charlene Fields, Rebecca Schwartzenberger, Casey Fahey) in 1:53.10; and 1600m relay (Charlene Fields, Jennifer Spinelli, Rebecca Schwartzenberger, Syringa Stark) in 4:33.90.

3—Syringa Stark triple jump (31-10 ½), high jump (4-6) and discus (92-1); and Rebecca Schwartzenberger 400m (1:03.10).

4—Casey Fahey triple jump (31-4 ¾ ).

5—Hannah Richards 1600m (6:15.0)

6—Hannah Richards 3200m (13:59.90).


WRHS boys’ placings:

1—Matt Pruett 100m (11.20); and Alex Hamlin 3200m (10:43.9).

3—Chris LeBlanc 800m (2:07.20); Scott Bartlett long jump (19-8); and Corbin Miniard shotput (44-8).

5—Steve Fields 300m intermediate hurdles (45.70); Matt Pruett long jump (19-3 ½); Chris LeBlanc triple jump (37-8 ½); and 1600m relay (Steve Fields, Scott Bartlett, Chris LeBlanc, Matt Pruett) in 3:39.80.


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