Middle blocker Megan Spofford was the dominant player, and her Idaho Falls Tigers volleyball team (17-4 overall) dominated the 29th annual, 12-team Wood River Invitational tournament Friday and Saturday on the Hailey hardwoods.
Spofford was named Most Valuable Player after the Tigers won all seven of their matches over two days including Saturday's 25-13, 25-18 championship match triumph over Borah's Lions from Boise.
It was the second straight Wood River Invitational crown for 2003-05 State 5A champion Idaho Falls, a Wood River winner over Filer in 2008 en route to second place in the state.
Taking third place was Timberline of Boise, a 25-23, 25-14 loser to Borah in the semi-final match. The tournament's Cinderella team, the Kimberly Bulldogs, beat Twin Falls, Wood River and Filer in Saturday's tournament bracket, but lost to Idaho Falls and Borah to take fourth place.
Hillcrest of Idaho Falls (11-9) tied for fifth with Filer after being knocked off by Borah 25-23, 25-27, 18-16 in a thrilling quarterfinal. Host Wood River won three of its six matches over two days and was eliminated by Hillcrest 25-16, 25-17.
Besides tournament MVP Spofford, Idaho Falls contributed Kaitlyn Johnson to the All-Tournament Team. Others were Danielle Schaal of Filer (last year's MVP), Taighlor Barr of Kimberly, McKenna Herrera of Hillcrest, Jade Gray of Borah and Rachel Montgomery of Timberline.
Wood River coach Tim Richards said his team's highlight was placing second to Borah in Friday's round-robin action, four teams in each pool.
Borah beat Wood River 25-16, 25-16 in pool play, but the Wolverines (4-2 games) won 25-20, 25-16 over Mountain Home and 25-13, 25-20 over Payette.
Other pool winners Friday were Idaho Falls and 2006-07 Wood River champion Boise.
Boise had the toughest pool, outlasting second-place Hillcrest in Friday's action. Filer and Twin Falls duked it out for the final two seeds. Twin Falls later beat Boise in the tournament, then lost to Filer.
Great Basin league play
Wood River (10-11 overall, 1-2 league) captured its first Great Basin Conference victory Thursday 21-25, 25-22, 25-12, 25-22 at Burley (0-5 league). The win snapped a four-match losing skid for Hailey's girls.
This week, Wood River invaded Minico (5-0 league) in Rupert Tuesday and goes to Jerome (2-1 league) Thursday, Sept. 24. Canyon Ridge of Twin Falls visits Hailey Sept. 29.
Caulkins leads pack at Rigby Lake
Chase Caulkins is certainly enjoying the view as the lead runner early in the 2009 high school cross country season.
Wood River High School senior Caulkins, ranked second in Idaho 4A, won for the second time in his three races. He led 95 boys' varsity runners in Friday's Rigby Invitational on a 3.1-mile (5 kilometer) course at Rigby Lake in eastern Idaho.
Caulkins (16:53) was a 14-second winner over senior Brycen Wintch (17:07) from Bonneville of Idaho Falls. Close behind in seventh was Hailey junior James Paris (17:20).
Madison of Rexburg (73 points) was the boys' team winner with Wood River (138) in seventh place. Hillcrest of Idaho Falls (52) won the girls' team title, Wood River (156) was seventh of 12 girls' teams.
Individual girls' medalist in a 92-runner girls' field was junior Jocelyn Allen (19:56) from North Fremont of Ashton. She is the #3-ranked Idaho 2A/1A runner in Idahoxc.com polls.
Wood River's young crew of sophomore Tristin Bowers (22:38), freshman Maranda Stopol (23:05) and sophomore Corrine Smith (23:21) placed 20th, 22nd and 26th.
In all, there were 472 high school runners on a warm afternoon at Rigby Lake.
Caulkins was also first to the finish line among all boys in the Jerome Invitational 3.1-mile prep footrace at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls Aug. 28. He was second in the Sept. 9 Wood River Invitational at Sagewillow Farms.
The Wolverines continue their seven-meet season Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Bob Firman Invitational on the Eagle Island course outside of Boise. Visit runnerspace.com/BobFirman.
WRHS results from Rigby:
Rigby Invitational varsity boys: 1—Chase Caulkins 16:53. 7—James Paris 17:20. 28—Andrew Pfeiffer 18:29. 51—Brendan Freund 19:14. 53—Rusty Williams 19:16. 87—Miles Hendrix 21:58 (95 runners).
Rigby Invitational varsity girls: 1—Jocelyn Allen (North Fremont) 19:56. 20—Tristin Bowers 22:38. 22—Maranda Stopol 23:05. 26—Corrine Smith 23:21. 48—Alison Town 24:18. 66—Brooke Bowers 25:27. 77—Dani McLaughlin 26:34. 88—Kennedie Howard 29:19 (92 runners).
Rigby Invitational junior varsity boys: 1—Conrad Christiansen (Skyline of Idaho Falls) 18:21. 70—Zeb Glenn 22:28. 80—Nick Howard 22:51. 101—Brandon Beall 23:58. 102—Connor Hesselbacher 23:59. 118—Drew Deffe 24:51. 121—Fischer Lewis 24:56. 140—Jake Adicoff 26:54 (159 runners).
Rigby Invitational junior varsity girls: 1—Christie Seedall (Bonneville) 23:41. 111—Brooke Lawrence 33:48. 112—Kaitlyn Landis 33:51. 114—Kathrina Vangen 34:00. 122—Amelia Fugate 37:49 (126 runners).