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For the week of May 17 through May 23, 2000

Wood River track makes strides with team effort

Christiansen, Senger lead way to seven golds

When disaster struck, Wood River High School sophomore Ashley Howe had two choices Thursday during the Fourth District A-2 track and field meet at ISDB in Gooding.

Howe, the overwhelming favorite in the 400-meter dash, could have felt sorry for herself for false-starting and losing her chance for a trip to state.

Or she could have wiped away the flood of tears, elected to be a team player and rooted like crazy for senior teammate Saesha Senger.

Howe was expected to win by a margin of three or four seconds. Senger, running the open 400m for only the second time, wasn’t expected to challenge at all in the one-lap race.

In the blink of an eye, Howe made her decision—and it exemplified an outstanding team effort by the Wood River girls’ track team at last week’s state-qualifying SCIC track meet.

When the starting gun fired and the 400m sprinters took off, a distraught Howe left the comforting arms of her coaches and started her own sprint—down the middle of the field, trying to intercept the runners at the opposite end, before the final straightaway.

As she ran, she brushed away the tears and forgot for a moment her own misfortune.

Senger was fourth with 120 meters to go, some distance behind the leader. Howe arrived and encouraged her, yelling loudly, with all the air left in her lungs, "Go Saesha!"

Hearing this, Senger found an additional burst of speed. She ran like mad.

Improbably, Senger (1:05.2) won the 400m dash in a photo finish over Kari Brown of Filer. Among the teammates who hugged and congratulated her was Ashley Howe.

Senger’s unexpected 400m triumph was one of seven gold medals won by Wood River’s boys and girls.

The outcome was a significant improvement over last year, when Wood River won only two district golds.

Wolverine senior Todd Christiansen repeated as district shotput king (50-7 ) and added the discus victory (145-8) by over seven feet.

It was the fourth straight year that a Wood River athlete has won the district boys’ shotput title. Christiansen will likely need to tack on four feet in shotput and 10 feet in discus to mount a threat at state.

Joining Christiansen as a double gold medal winner was Senger, who added a second consecutive district triple jump victory (32-8) at ISDB.

Senior Kristi Toussaint (25.7) was the 200m dash winner for Wood River’s other individual gold. Toussaint, fifth in the 1999 state 200m, is tied for best state qualifying time.

Although Howe won’t be competing in the open 400m at the 83rd annual Idaho State Track and Field Championships May 19-20 in Boise, she was an important member of two winning relays.

Wednesday, Wood River won the 800m sprint medley relay (1:54.1) with seniors Trudy Fochs and Sarah McCarthy at 100m, Toussaint at 200m and anchor Howe.

The Wolverines have the third-best medley time entering state. Last year’s winning state time was 1:53.29.

On Thursday, after her 400m disqualification, Howe ran the opening leg of Wood River’s triumphant 1600m relay (4:18.0) with Toussaint, McCarthy and junior Holly Hobson. They’ll need to improve six seconds to challenge.

The number of state qualifiers is an example of Wolverine track progress.

Last year, it was five girls in seven events, and one boy in two events. This year it’s six girls in nine events, and three boys in four events.

Hobson made it with second places at 800m (2:29) and 1600m (5:57). Fochs, sixth in the state high hurdles last May, qualified with a second place in the 100m high hurdles (17.2) and third in the 300m intermediates (53.6).

Junior Tyler Metzel finished third in high jump (5-8) and junior Andrew Slough second at 800m (2:07) to make state.

Unfortunately, soph sprinter Kipp Mills was involved in an unfortunate incident during the 100m dash finals. As Wood River coach J.C. Nemecek said, it was "the saddest commentary on honor in the meet."

Mills clearly placed third in the heat at 13.0 and should have qualified for state, Nemecek said. But she was assigned a fourth-place finish, behind sophomore Sara Boss of Filer.

He added, "Kipp placed, without question, third in the event. But the picker did not select her—rather the girl in fourth was picked third. Though the coaches saw Kipp as third, the selection stood. What disappointed me the most was the coach of the girl who was wrongfully placed third did not step forward and set the matter right."

The top three A-2 individuals and winning relay automatically advanced to the state meet May 19-20 at Lyle Smith Field in Bronco Stadium.

On Friday, the boys’ A-2 high jump starts at 10:30 a.m., then the boys’ discus and A-2 girls’ triple jump at 12 noon. The A-2 prelims and medley relay final begins Friday at 5:30 p.m. after Parade of Athletes.

Saturday, the A-2 boys’ shotput is at 9 a.m. The A-2 running event finals are Saturday at 12:45 p.m. A two-day pass costs $10.

Last week’s SCIC district meet results for Wood River:


WR girls

Individual running

100m: 4—Kipp Mills 13.0 (personal best). Also: Caitlin Blanton 13.8 (season best), Missy Weisen 14.3. 200m: 1—Kristi Toussaint 25.7 (personal best). Also: Saesha Senger 28.1 (finalist), Kipp Mills 28.9, Caitlin Blanton 28.9 (personal best), Missy Wiesen 30.0 (season best). 400m: 1—Saesha Senger 1:05.2. 800m: 2—Holly Hobson 2:29. 1600m: 2—Hobson 5:57. 6—Krista Burns 6:25 (personal best). 3200m: 6—Krista Burns 14:02.

100m high hurdles: 2—Trudy Fochs 17.2. Also: Jessica Wamsley 21.2. 300m intermediates: 3—Trudy Fochs 53.6. Also: Jessica Wamsley 1:03.7.


Field events

Long jump: 4—Trudy Fochs 14-4 (season best). Also: Jessica Wamsley 12-6. Triple jump: 1—Saesha Senger 32-8. 4—Jessica Wamsley 28-2 . Shotput: 5—Tara Rushton 29-8. Also: Kristine Hilt 27-0. Discus: 4—Tara Rushton 98-6 (season best). 5—Kristine Hilt 97-10 (personal best).



400m: 4—Wood River (Sarah McCarthy, Missy Wiesen, Kipp Mills, Caitlin Blanton) 55.0. 800m: 2—Wood River (Sarah McCarthy, Kipp Mills, Caitlin Blanton, Saesha Senger) 1:54.1.

Medley: 1—Wood River (Trudy Fochs, Sarah McCarthy, Kristi Toussaint, Ashley Howe) 1:54.1. 1600m: 1—Wood River (Ashley Howe, Kristi Toussaint, Sarah McCarthy, Holly Hobson) 4:18.0.



WR boys

Individual running

200m: Justin Koonce 28.4 (personal best). 400m: Dylan Welcome 56.4 (prelims, made finals), Gavin Reynolds 1:02.1. 800m: 2—Andrew Slough 2:07. 1600m: Slough 5:07, Dylan Welcome 5:08 (personal best) and Blake Barney 5:21 (personal best). 3200m: Blake Barney 12:15.4.

110m high hurdles: 5—Cole Everman 17.7. Also: Chad Hayward 17.9. 300m intermediate hurdles: Cole Everman 45.3, Chad Hayward 51.9.


Field events

High jump: 3—Tyler Metzel 5-8. Long jump: 5—Jeremy Hayward 18-6 . Shotput: 1—Todd Christiansen 50-7 . Discus: 1—Todd Christiansen 145-8.



400m: 4—Wood River (Jeremy Hayward, Tyler Metzel, Nic Mitchell, Justin Koonce) 48.7.

Medley: 4—Wood River (Tyler Metzel, Todd Christiansen, Dylan Welcome, Andrew Slough) 3:58.2. 1600m: 5—Wood River (Blake Barney, Tyler Metzel, Gavin Reynolds, Dwight Smith) 4:12.


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