Wednesday, May 21, 2014

30 years later, Lisa’s high jump still stands

6-1 leap at state in 1984

Express Staff Writer

     It’s been 30 years, and the overall Idaho prep high jump record of Lisa Bernhagen Ramos is still standing in the record books of the Idaho High School Activities Association state track and field meet.

     As a Wood River High School senior in 1984, Bernhagen set the overall record of 6 feet, 1 inch at Boise’s Bronco Stadium. She surpassed the previous Gem State girls’ record of 5-10 set by Karrie Sue Bates of Murtaugh in 1979.

     Bernhagen’s high jump record is now the oldest unbroken IHSAA state track record. This year’s winning jumps last weekend in the Boise area were 5 feet, 4 inches in 5A, 4A and 2A, and 5-2 in 3A and 1A.

     Wood River High sophomore Sara Lichtenberg placed fourth in 4A high jump finals at 5-0. Three years ago, Katelyn Peterson of Camas County in Fairfield set the 1A girls’ high jump record of 5-7.

     Bernhagen Ramos also continues to hold the 3A 200-meter dash record of 25.14 seconds set in that memorable 1984 track meet. It was also the overall state record for many years. Kyli McSpadden of Mountain View now has that overall 200m dash record of 24.80.

     Wood River’s Delaney Fox carried the State 4A girls’ 100-meter high hurdles record of 14.99 seconds into this year’s meet staged Friday and Saturday at Dona Larsen Park in Boise. It was broken by Rigby sophomore Elsja Mecham (14.20), who won the event by nearly a second.

     The only other state track record still held in Blaine County is Carey High School’s 4x400-meter boys’ relay 1A record of 3:29.36 set in 1996 with
T.J. Dilworth, Chad Peck, Fabian Neubert and anchor runner Jordan Hennefer.

     Saturday’s winning 4x400m team from Liberty Charter didn’t come close with a top time of 3:35.20. Nobody came close to Hennefer in 1996, when he swept 100m, 200m and 400m sprints in the A-4 class and anchored the 4x400m.

     That was the year the Carey girls won their first outright State A-4 title 74-73 over Raft River of Malta when senior sprinter Ginger Barton outlegged a Nampa Christian runner by .76 seconds to win the 4x400m relay and give the Panther girls a point they needed.


Watching the kids

     Lisa Bernhagen Ramos had a distinguished track and field career in high school and college—but she’s now mainly a spectator to the athletic feats of her two children.

     On Feb. 16, 1984 in Pocatello, while a Wood River senior, Bernhagen set a Simplot Games meet record 6-3 high jump that remains a national indoor record.

     Ramos went on to finish her career at Wood River High as a four-time Idaho state champion in high jump and also a four-time gold medalist in the 200-meter dash.

     In four Idaho state track and field meets, she earned 140 out of a possible 150 points for her Wolverine team.

     She won 12 gold medals in 15 events including two golds in the 400m dash, one gold in the 100m dash and one gold in her final state track event, a scintillating come-from-behind anchor leg of Wood River's 1600m relay team.

     As a junior she led the Wood River volleyball team to second place at the State A-2 tourney in Idaho Falls in 1982.

     She was voted into the Idaho High School Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1999. After high school she competed for Stanford University and made the Olympic high jump trials three times, 1984, 1988 and 1992. Ramos set a women’s college indoor high jump record of 6-5 1/2 at Flagstaff, Az. in 1987. It wasn’t broken until 2009.

     A few weeks later, she captured the NCAA national indoor title with a height of 6-3.

     Leg and foot injuries hampered her collegiate track career but she was grateful for a chance to combine athletics and academics at the prestigious school. She was a four-time Stanford All-American.

     She graduated from Stanford in 1988 with a degree in Organizational Behavior and went on to earn her Masters degree in Sociology from Stanford in 1989.

     In Oct. 1989, Lisa married her college sweetheart, John Ramos, in Sun Valley. Ramos was a respected high school baseball player for Plant High School in Tampa, Fla. He led the Stanford Cardinal to three straight conference baseball championships.

     A baseball player drafted by the New York Yankees in 1986, Ramos made it to the big leagues as a Yankee in 1991 and played AAA minor league baseball before retiring from the game in 1996. He is now assistant coach for the University of Tampa Spartans baseball team.

     John started a marble and granite business and is Chief Executive Officer of Ramos Marble and Granite Inc. in Tampa.

     Their son Nick, now 20, was born in 1993 and is currently the starting shortstop as a sophomore for the Indiana University baseball team that is aiming for a return visit to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The 6-1, 170-pound switch hitter has batted .235 in 88 college games with a .938 fielding average.

     Ranked high nationally, Indiana University (38-13, 21-3 Big Ten) is the top seed and playing Iowa today, Wednesday, May 21 in the Big Ten tournament at Omaha.

     The couple’s daughter Victoria, 18, has competed in track and field at Plant High School—running the sprints and relays like her mother and doing the long jump.

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