JEROME — On a cold, windy Friday afternoon in Jerome, rival schools from Twin Falls blazed through the field at the Tim Dunne Invitational.
Canyon Ridge High School took first on the boys side, and Twin Falls earned the girls title, and both won by fairly wide margins. The Riverhawk boys scored 211.5 points to the Bruins’ second-place 156.5, and the Bruin girls posted 188 to second-place Jerome’s 140.
The Canyon Ridge boys team found success across the board, with at least two athletes in the top five in 10 of the 14 individual events. Four Riverhawks won their respective events: Abdelgadir Mohamed (400 meters), Trajan Holtzen (800), Brison Tilo (shot put and discus) and Anthony Garcia (high jump). The Riverhawks also won the boys 4x400 relay.
One of the strengths of the Canyon Ridge boys squad was depth, not only from event to event, but within each event. The Riverhawks sometimes fielded six or seven athletes in one event alone.
“We kind of preached from day one that we need all the bodies we need to compete,” Canyon Ridge head coach Ben Benoit said. “They compete against themselves and then figure out where we need what.”
Tilo’s shot put and discus wins were highlights of the day for Benoit, as both were personal records. He also was impressed with Mohamed’s anchoring of the 4x400 relay and Trajan Holtzen’s 800 win, in which the top three runners finished within two-hundredths of a second of each other.
The Canyon Ridge boys team posted a fourth-place finish at last year’s 4A state tournament, and Benoit, who also coaches the cross country team, said he has high hopes for this year’s group, which lost only one senior.
“Our cross country team did very well this year and was the same situation,” he said. “So it’s the same coaches and same kids, and we know what to expect.”
On the girls side, Twin Falls took home gold in eight of the 12 individual events, though it won only one gold in the field events (Sidnee Naerebout in the triple jump).
Twin Falls head coach Marty Grindstaff said his girls squad this year has talent all around, lacking in only one area.
“We don’t have a thrower right now,” he said. “That’s our one weakness. We’re hoping to get a thrower to throw a little further before district … but there’s not too many changes we can make right now.”
The Bruin girls are especially dominant at the ends of the distance spectrum. Madison Glascock, who won the 100- and 200-meter dashes, highlights a strong short-distance group composed of Ashley Hutchinson, Madison Hicks and Paige Beem. And Mattalyn Geddes blew away the field in the 3200-meter run, finishing nearly 53 seconds ahead of teammate Brinlee Garling with a new personal record, 11:20.9.
Pocatello took bronze in the boys standings with a score of 116, followed by Minico with 88 points. Jerome finished fifth with 53.5, and Wood River was seventh with 27.5.
For the girls, Jerome followed up Twin Falls with 140 points, and Pocatello took bronze again, this time with 109 points. Wood River finished fourth (100), Canyon Ridge was fifth (84.5) and Minico was seventh (18).
Mujic eyeing Twin Falls glory
Twin Falls senior sprinter Muamer Mujic has made his mark at the state level, but now wants to be the greatest to ever run for the Bruins.
Mujic won state titles in four events in 2017: 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x200.
“(This year), I’m looking to get all repeats at state,” he said, “but I also want to break the Twin Falls records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.”
Those records are 10.4 seconds and 21.6 seconds, respectively. His performance on Friday was off those marks, as he clocked 10.94 seconds and 22.48 seconds, respectively.
Mujic’s title-winning times in 2017 were 10.79 seconds in the 100 and 21.98 seconds in the 200. He and his relay teammates set school records with their gold medal runs in the 4x100 (42.43) and 4x200 (1:28.9).
Mujic recently got his college decision out of the way, signing with Weber State on Wednesday, so he’s 100 percent focused on the tasks at hand this season. He also said he has a good feeling about the team as a whole and its shot at finishing well at state, which the boys and girls both placed second in last year.
“We’ve got great runners, (but) we have good distance and good field (athletes), too,” he said, “Hopefully, we can get first or second at state.”
Correction: A previous version this article reported that Gage King of Canyon Ridge won the 110-meter hurdles in the boys division. Cy Mahlke of Twin Falls won the event. We regret the error.