GOODING • During the often long waits between events, athletes did everything they could to stay warm Thursday at the ISDB Invitational in Gooding.
Some bundled up in layers of sweats, some covered themselves with blankets and sleeping bags, some even fled inside tents. Sometimes all three.
A swirling wind chilled down the facilities at the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind Thursday, having a readily apparent effect on some events. Unusual for a track meet?
Well, maybe for some.
“Not in Gooding,” Lighthouse Christian head coach Darren Van Hofwegen said. “It’s usually windy here.”
Wind or not, the Lions looked primed to at least have a chance at defending their 1A boys state team title from last season, winning the meet with 132.5 points, 21 more than second-place Murtaugh. Hagerman rolled to a win in the girls meet with 155 points.
“It’s coming around, even with the wind and the elements,” Van Hofwegen said. “Sometimes kids make excuses. We try to make sure our kids don’t make excuses and just go out there. The win, the cold, whatever, just do your best.”
Senior Gage Silva won both hurdle events—as he did at the state meet last year—and was part of a first-place 4x400 relay team as well. In all, the Lions took first in 11 of 17 boys events.
In the girls meet, Hagerman won just six events, but showcased impressive depth in its lopsided win.
Carey posted two event wins in its third-place showing with junior Clarissa Kirkland contributing in both. She won the 100 meter dash by more than half a second.
Even she was not immune to the wind, though, for better or worse.
“Running the 100, it pushes you and running this back stretch,” she said gesturing to the other side of the track, “it pulls you back. It’s definitely a challenge.”
Lighthouse Christian finished sixth, but did that with just seven athletes. Junior EllieMae Millenkamp sets a school record in the discus throw with 84-09.
Featuring eight of the area’s 1A schools, Wednesday’s meet could offer a glimpse at the class’ track landscape for this season. That prognostication only goes so far, though.
For one, several of the areas speediest teams—Raft River, Valley and Oakley, for instance—were not there.
For another, the wind has a way of distorting times and results. Competing in such heavy winds can be its own discipline altogether.
“It affects athletes, especially high school athletes,” Richfield head coach Garr Ward said. “Most of the time, it hurts, the cold weather versus warm weather.”