May 17, 1997 in Sports

Post Falls’ Lee Repeats As State Champ

By The Spokesman-Review

A-1 track and field

Austin Lee thinks the word repeat has a nice ring to it.

Lee continued Post Falls High’s string of state titles in the shot put Friday by defending his crown in the 80th annual Idaho high school track and field championships.

The senior pulled off the repeat without having to throw in the finals. He took three consecutive throws without a break during his flight, extending each put by a foot or more, capped by his winning toss of 56-0.

Senior Ryan Knowles of Sandpoint, Lee’s longtime friend from childhood, took second with a throw of 51-8-1/2 .

An occasional breeze kept the temperature from reaching triple digits during the primary field events portion of the four state meets at Boise State University’s Ed Jacoby Track.

Lee, who’s done limited throwing the past month since aggravating a shoulder injury suffered during preseason football practice, felt fine in the shot Friday. But he didn’t want to press his fortune because, of the two weight events, the shot is the most trying on his shoulder.

“I passed in the finals because I didn’t want to risk hurting it again,” Lee said. “I wanted to save myself for the discus, too.”

Two hours later, Lee took third in the discus, an improvement by one place over last year. His mark of 153-2 is a personal best.

His winning throw in the shot bettered his season best by 2 inches. It was 11 inches short of his state mark last year.

Lee dedicated his victory to his specialty coach, Dan Nipp.

Post Falls throwers have won four straight state titles in the shot and five of the last six.

“I wanted to win it for Mr. Nipp,” Lee said. “He deserves it. He works hard with us every day and stays at practice as long as we want.”

Lee popped his right shoulder out of joint last summer, but didn’t suffer a full dislocation. He’s chosen to allow it to heal over time.

Problem is Lee, as a three-sport athlete, hasn’t had much time off this year.

Knowles capped his first year of throwing the shot competitively with a respectable effort.

“Two months isn’t a lot of time to work on form,” said Knowles, who played baseball until turning out for track this spring. “I threw 43 feet (at the first meet) and improved about a foot each meet.”

Knowles’ personal best (52-2) came at regionals last week.

Meanwhile, in running preliminaries, Sandpoint junior Caleb Bowman streaked to heat wins in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Virtually unknown before the races, Bowman showed the field he’ll be difficult to contend with today when the bulk of the running finals are held.

Lewiston’s Rick McCrery won the long jump at 22-1.

Coeur d’Alene sprinter Brenda Nipp posted the fastest heat time in the 400 (58.9). She also qualified for today’s finals in the 100 and 200.

Vikings freshman Janee Andre took fourth in the long jump (16-9-3/4).

Complete field-event results and team standings were unavailable due to computer problems.

, DataTimes

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