Carey High School's boys' track and field team re-established itself at the State 1A meet with a sixth-place team finish Saturday, right behind the upstart Dietrich Blue Devils.
For Carey, junior distance runner Blake Whitby placed third in the 3200m run (10:03.73) and fourth in Saturday's 1600m final (4:45.00) on Boise's Bronco Stadium track.
Placing third was Carey's 4x100m relay team of Cody Baird, Brad Hunt, Heith Adamson and Gonzalo Zarate. The Panther 4x400m relay of Baird, Scott Ellsworth, Hunt and Zarate raced to fourth place.
Those were the top placings for a Carey squad that finished with 32 points—the school's best result at state since 2003 when Carey scored 46 points and placed second to the Hansen Huskies in the final totals.
Dietrich, meanwhile, slipped past Carey into fifth place with 35 points by virtue of a couple of strong second-place runs by sophomore Scott Perron in the 800m and 1600m and a second-place finish in the medley. Dietrich had been a distant 48 points behind district runner-up Carey at the May 9-10 state-qualifying meet in Gooding.
Other Carey point-getting performances at state came from senior Cody Baird (5th in 300m intermediate hurdles at 42.98); from junior Kade Peterson (6th in the 1600m at 4:46.98 and 7th in 3200m at 10:29.03); and from senior James Carlson (8th in intermediates 45.15).
The Camas County boys placed 24th in the team totals with 13.5 points topped by senior Chase Lee (3rd in 110m high hurdles at 16.11, tied for 6th high jump at 5-10) and junior Ben McLam (4th 100m 11.49).
Raft River's boys won their fourth consecutive State 1A team championship and eighth in 11 years with 65.5 points over Genesee (49).
Meanwhile, the major lesson of the 1A girls' meet was that you never celebrate until crossing the finish line—because one or two points can make the difference between a first- and second-place team trophy.
That's what the Raft River girls from Malta learned Saturday at the finish of the 4x100m relay and the Prairie Pirates from Cottonwood ultimately profited at the expense of the Lapwai Wildcats.
Raft River's 4x100m anchor runner Nicole Harper appeared to have the victory at hand and she raised her arms to celebrate, but Prairie senior Nicole Nida (1st place 200m and 400m, 2nd place 100m dash) never gave up and nipped Harper by the tiniest of margins at the finish line.
The difference was two points, 10 for Prairie's win and eight for second.
When the final team totals were compiled, Prairie (76) won its first state girls' championship since 1978 by a one-point margin over Lapwai (75). Prairie's victory snapped Kootenai's five-year winning streak.
Camas County of Fairfield finished with seven points including a sixth-place finish by sophomore Hailey Gregory in the 300m intermediate hurdles (51.39) and eighth place by sophomore Lindsey Peterson in the 200m dash (28.20).
The Carey girls (3 points) picked up a sixth place in the 4x400m relay with Serene Bingham, Kayla Bailey, Taylor Whitby and Jessica Parke.
Dietrich freshman Nakia Norman, second in the 800m final, came on strong down the homestretch to edge Shoshone freshman 3200m winner Taylor Astle by two seconds at the finish line of the 1600m run.
Other team winners
Led by sprinter Brooke Hansen (1st place 100m and 200m), the Sugar-Salem Digger girls won their first-ever State 3A title 96-63 over South Fremont of St. Anthony.
Distance runner Frank Lagrimanta's victories in the 1600m and 3200m runs paced the Timberlake boys to their second straight State 3A boys title and third in four years by a 101-87 margin over Shelley.
Senior Jaclyn Puga of Nampa Christian wrapped up a marvelous track career in high style at state. She won her fourth straight State 2A 800m title and added her second consecutive 1600m triumph. Puga also anchored the winning Nampa Christian 4x200 and 4x400m relays.
The result? Nampa Christian's girls took their third consecutive State 2A title and seventh in nine years by a 135 to 60.5 count over Grangeville. Puga ended up with seven individual state track victories.
Firth's boys, with 36 points in the distances, won their fourth State 2A boys' championship in five years 142-86 over Nampa Christian.