DECLO | Buhl’s Spencer Rimer found himself playing in an un-winnable game of chess against an undefeated opponent.

With the wind gusting in unpredictable fashion Thursday, the Buhl pole-vaulter had to carefully strategize each and every jump he made at the Brad Matthews Invitational.

If the wind was against him, he had one mindset. If the wind happened to be on his side? That’s a completely different story.

“If the wind is going (against) you, you have to … get closer to the pit because your steps are going to be off,” said Rimer. “With a tail wind, your steps are going to be longer …. so you have to be further back.”

Despite jumping just 9-feet-6 inches, Rimer played his cards right and wound up victorious. And though his mark was a foot-and-a-half under his personal best of 11 feet, Rimer was willing to take his victory given the circumstances.

“(The) wind messed everybody up,” Rimer said.

Rimer was one of many athletes forced to endure gusty conditions at the Brad Matthews Invitational held at Declo High School on Thursday afternoon.

Aberdeen, Buhl, Declo, Filer, Gooding, Kimberly, Lighthouse Christian, Oakley, Rafter River, Valley and Wendell were all well-represented at the annual event.

The Buhl girls took first-place in the team standings with 144 total points. Valley, Gooding and Declo finished in second, third and fourth, respectively.

On the boys side it was Declo edging out Valley for the top spot, 133.5-106.5. Buhl and Filer took third and fourth-place.

Buhl’s Rimer wasn’t the only individual athlete affected by the occasional breeze. Regardless of the event, the odds are the wind probably played a factor.

Katherine Jones from Buhl anchored the girls 4x200 winning team, for instance. Despite trailing behind Valley early, the Indians made up ground in a hurry despite the conditions.

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“If the wind’s pushing against you, you have to work harder to get to the end. You use more energy, I guess,” said and out-of-breath Jones. “Like you’re pushing against something.”

The Declo boys, meanwhile, were stellar in relays. Declo’s 4x200 team easily won its race. Anchor Keegan Duncan wasn’t affected by the weather but was slightly bothered by an almost-missed handoff mid-race.

“We live in Idaho, so it’s about windy every day,” the freshman said with a laugh. “(We) started out a little behind … had a rough handoff again over there. But we got it done.”

Hurdlers like Kiersten Lancaster from Declo, however, might have gotten the worst of the conditions. Lancaster compared her 100-meter hurdles race to running into a wall. Though she won the event, it was a struggle from start to finish.

“This wind,” she said with a laugh. “It felt like a wall.”

Note: Official individual results from Thursday’s meet were not posted online at the time of publication.

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