TWIN FALLS — Records were broken, farewells were given and a new team winner was announced at the 4A District 4 track and field championships held at Twin Falls High School.
Canyon Ridge snapped a four-year boys team district title streak by Twin Falls, outscoring the Bruins 210 to 187. The Riverhawks had some favorites win big, including Brison Tilo in the discus (164 feet, 7 inches) and Abdelgadir Mohamed in the 400-meter dash (49.74). But it was the bounty of other scorers that clinched the win.
“We had a couple of events where we made up half the field,” Canyon Ridge head coach Ben Benoit said. “We just have a lot of depth, and the guys have bought in to what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Canyon Ridge also received some big points on big improvements from sources like Devin Burk. He was seeded fifth in the 1600-meter run but finished third, qualifying him for the state tournament after qualifying in the 800-meter run, as well.
Heading in, it was no secret that the Riverhawks were in prime position to win the boys title. They’ve topped the Bruins throughout the season, though few were anywhere near blowouts.
“We’ve kind of made a statement all year long,” Tilo said. “We have a lot of talent.”
The boys side saw one of the tightest events on the day in the 110-meter hurdles. Twin Falls’ Cyril Mahlke entered as the favorite from preliminaries, but only by one-hundredth of a second over Minico’s Julian Vega and within four-tenths of a second of Canyon Ridge’s Gage King.
The final heat was a nailbiter between the three, who all finished within a tenth of a second of one another, but Mahlke was able to take the victory in 15.29 seconds.
“It’s been us three right in it every time,” Mahlke said. “I could feel them on my sides, so I had to push.”
Mahlke, a junior, said he’s focusing more heavily on the 300-meter hurdles, but his win qualified him for state in the 110 hurdles for the first time in his career.
On the girls side, Twin Falls blew out the competition, finishing with a team score of 232. The next closest competitor, Jerome, recorded a 113.
“They’re just a fun team to watch,” Twin Falls head coach Marty Grindstaff said. “Really looking forward to the state tournament with this group.”
One of the team’s most consistent runners, sophomore Mattalyn Geddes, broke the school record in the 1600-meter run, according to Grindstaff. She finished in 5:05.22, nearly 20 seconds ahead of her next closest competitor on the day.
Geddes also won the 800-meter run (2:20.95) and the 3200-meter run (11:10.68).
Even with the dominance she’s shown throughout the season, including wins in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs at the Tiger Grizz Invitational, she was surprised to see her lap times at districts in the 1600-meter run.
“I like having a goal in mind when I run, so I memorized my splits coming in,” Geddes said, “and today, I was three seconds better.”
Twin Falls won nine of the 12 track events on the girls side, including a slight upset in the 200-meter dash, as Madison Glascock downed 2017 state champion Taylia Stimpson of Minico, running a time of 25.78.
On the boys side, Minico finished third with a 108, followed by Jerome (81), Burley (46) and Wood River. Canyon Ridge was third in the girls standings with a score of 103, trailed by Burley (102), Wood River (93.5) and Minico (36).
The meet was a bittersweet one for Grindstaff, who is retiring at the end of this season after a 14-year tenure as Twin Falls head coach. He still has one last state tournament to look forward to, but he said hosting his last event was “a great feeling.”
“I watched the last 4x400, and it kind of hit me,” he said. “I’m just happy to be surrounded by the staff I have. They’re great people.”