Sidnee Naerebout of Twin Falls waited until the most challenging circumstances came about to make history.
The junior set a new Class 4A state record in the triple jump at the Idaho State Track and Field Championships at Eagle High School on Friday. Naerebout hit a mark of 38 feet and 5 1/4 inches on her last jump on a cold, rainy day, earning her the state championship title for the second straight year.
The weather threw a wrench into the meet schedule, moving most of the field events to Saturday. The jumping events were postponed to Friday afternoon.
“I didn’t even think we were going to be able to jump today, and it was super frustrating because I had been mentally preparing myself for today, so I’m glad we got to,” Naerebout said. “The wind thankfully wasn’t blowing against us. It was kind of diagonally with us, but it’s been so cold and I was glad I was able to get that far in such poor conditions.”
Naerebout said she knew her jump was good when she took off, but it wasn’t until she landed and dashed back to look at the tape measurer that she knew she had the record. She topped the mark of 38-3 1/2 set by Kayla Lee of Canyon Ridge in 2012.
It’s been a mental journey to get to this point as much as a physical one for Naerebout. She said she was nervous and didn’t perform at her best during her freshman year at state before hitting a new personal record of 37-10 1/2 at last year’s state meet.
“I think it’s really a huge mental thing too, because there have been times where I’m super focused and pressured,” she said. “But I think it finally paid off when I learned how to relax and jump the way I know how to.”
She said she wasn’t sure she would reach this level of success this weekend, but she’s excited about the accomplishment.
“It feels awesome. I’ve been working at it all season,” Naerebout said. “I mostly just wanted to get our school record this year because I didn’t quite get it last year. But to get the state record means a lot.”
Another junior won the boys’ side of the triple jump in 4A. Jerome’s Stockton Lott hit a mark of 44-4 1/4 to take home the state title.
Lott was happy to win the championship but said Friday’s jump was about a foot short of his personal record; he is committed to getting even better for his senior season.
“I’ve got to hit the weight room and work on my strength and my speed,” Lott said.
On the track, Twin Falls’ Mattalyn Geddes defended her title in the 3,200 meters with a time of 10:55.19. Geddes will look to repeat a championship 1,600 Saturday, as well as win the 800, an event in which she finished runner-up last season by less than a second.
Saturday’s action in Eagle will include all remaining running event finals as well as all field events except 4A triple jump and 5A long jump, which were completed Friday.