FILER • The occasional gust of wind wasn’t going to get in Haley Schaeffer’s way.
The Twin Falls track and field star is a recent transplant from North Carolina, having moved to Idaho before the semester. Though the junior is certainly used to changes in weather, the windy conditions at Thursday’s Buhl Rotary Invitational certainly weren’t working in her favor during the 3,200-meter run.
“The wind was really brutal,” Schaeffer said with a laugh. “Not a great quality for a race.”
Despite the harsh elements, Schaeffer wound up cruising to the finish line with a time of 11:56.94, just 18 seconds behind the meet record. She wasn’t ecstatic about the time but, given the gusty conditions, she was content with lapping several runners and winning by nearly 30 seconds.
“It definitely wasn’t my best time or closest to that. The wind adds resistance and makes it harder for us to push forward,” said Schaeffer. “But other than that, it went ok.”
Schaeffer, who also won the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs, was one of many athletes forced to endure the elements Thursday afternoon at the Buhl Rotary Invitational at Filer High School.
Thirteen teams from all over the state competed in 18 different events.
American Falls, Wood River, Kimberly, Minico, Oakley, Twin Falls, Declo, Filer, Gooding, Jerome, Buhl, Burley and Canyon Ridge all sent their best athletes to compete at the annual meet.
Twin Falls wound up winning both the boys and girls overall with scores of 169 and 135, respectively. The Bruins won 12 events combined.
Kimberly and Minico took second and third on the boys side while Minico and Buhl took the honors for the girls.
Dallin Harris from Twin Falls was one athlete very much affected by the wind. The senior high-jumper had to carefully time his jumps in between wind storms that swept dirt across the nearby track.
“The wind affects your approach,” said Harris. “Especially when you’re going into the wind, it pushes you away so you cant jump as high”
When the pole wasn’t being swept off of its rack, Harris managed to jump 6-feet, edging out Buhl’s Kasey Crossland by virtue of less scratches.
“It’s stressful because every jump is different,” Harris said. “I kind of keep a running tally in my head.”
Wood River’s Stella Barsotti won the girls high jump with a jump of 5-feet-2.
Minico’s Taylia Stimpson won both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes and was also a member of the winning medley relay team. Kabre Madrigal from Minico was a winner in the shot put with a throw of 37-feet-7.5-inches.
The Bruins scored another win in the boys 3,200-meter run from sophomore sensation Cannon Leavitt. Leavitt finished the race with an unofficial 10:13.35.
Though it wasn’t his best performance, Leavitt said he was focused from the get-go. He knew he had the race in the bag with three laps remaining. Without a competitor in sight, it was him against himself, just the way he likes it.
“I was focusing on winning from the start. I think i kind of had it more with three laps to go, I felt myself picking it up,” Leavitt said. “You just hate having the pressure of having someone behind me …. having a lead takes off the stress.”
Twin Falls also won the girls 400-meter run (Ashley Hutchinson), 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400-meter relays and in the boys 300-meter hurdles (Grant Bjornn), 4x100 and 4x200-meter relays.
Jerome’s Emily Palmer found herself in a close race in the girls 100-meter hurdles. She finished with an unofficial 16.98, which was just off of her personal best for the year. She was one of the lucky runners who competed after the worst of the wind had passed.
“I didn’t feel it at all this time,” said Palmer. “I felt really good.”
Palmer wound up winning a tight race over Abbey Jones from Oakley. Instead of monitoring her surroundings and looking over her shoulder, Palmer said she was more focused on life in her lane. She also won the 300-meter hurdles.
“I was just going. I had nothing on my mind while I was running,” said Palmer. “I’m just straight me. I don’t think about anything else. I can’t do it. It scares me too much.”
The boys 110-hurdles had intrigue as well, as Minico’s Wyatt Owen held a slight lead over Kimberly’s Zach Wright out of the starting blocks. Owen tripped up on last two hurdles, though, allowing Wright to squeak out a tight win at 15.5 seconds.
“We were accidentally hitting each other, back and forth,” Wright, a junior, said with a laugh. “But it was nice to get pushed that much.”
Wood River’s medley relay team won a tight race over Twin Falls with an overall time of 3:46.97. Ryan Anderson, who served as the anchor, ran the 800-meter portion in 2:04. The Wood River boys also won the 4x400-meter relay.
“I felt pretty good. It was windy but I kept going,” Anderson said. “We have three really solid runners and we just run our hardest.”
Other winners on the boys side included Declo’s Keegan Duncan in the 400-meter dash, Wood River’s Nelson Cantrell in the 800-meter run, Minico’s Zachary Montoya in the 1,600-meter run, Kimberly’s Camdin Brady in the triple-jump, Buhl’s Kasey Crossland in the long jump, Burley’s Garrett Morgan in the pole-vault, Canyon Ridge’s Brison Tilo in the discus and Minico’s Trent Chandler in the shot put.
Girls winners included Buhl’s Alyssa Gorrell in the discus and Gooding’s Bailey Price in the pole-vault. Price’s teammate Alexandra Tatum won both the long jump and triple jump.
Full results can be found at : http://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/MeetResults.aspx?Meet=267177#34195