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Millard takes discus after Poston falters

BOISE – Intermountain League athletes left their marks all over the State 3A track meet Friday. But Katie Poston’s attempt at another state-meet record never got airborne.

A day after tying the shot put state record, Poston never got untracked in her favorite event, the discus. After her first throw clanged into the chain-link fence encircling the ring, her second flew out of bounds.

So Poston, a sophomore who swept state titles in the throws last year, scaled back on her final attempt in the prelims, but her throw only flew 92 feet, 6 inches – about 56 short of her personal best. The throw almost landed out of the zone, too.

But the state title stayed in North Idaho when Priest River senior Bonnie Millard’s first throw of 128-4 held up for gold.

Poston waited anxiously as the event official determined which nine athletes from the two flights of prelims would advance to the finals. When she learned her name wasn’t on the final list, Poston fell to her knees with hands clasped around her cheeks and cried.

“I can’t believe I threw 92 – it’s my worst ever,” Poston said about three hours later. “I threw that in seventh grade.”

Bonners Ferry assistant coach Tom Reifsnyder said Poston may have been the victim of heavy expectations.

“She was reminded about those expectations so frequently – ‘You’re going to get the state record, you’re going to get the state record’,” Reifsnyder said. “You can’t set a state record unless you’re here. I told her before her third throw ‘Look, you’re really worried about throwing the thing. Just go through your normal sequence.’ “

It didn’t matter.

Millard consoled Poston.

“I just told her that she’s got two more years – that she would do awesome,” Millard said.

It’s the third time Millard has beaten Poston this year. And the third time means the most, especially after the Spartan had to withdraw from the state event last year when she discovered she had mononucleosis.

“I was warmed up and ready, but I was too sick to even walk,” Millard said of last year. “I did it, finally. It’s about time. I’ve been working really hard for it.”

Millard and junior teammate Angela Storro gave Priest River a boost in its pursuit of a state trophy. In fact, Spartans coach Jared Hughes figured based on the seeding that his team is a slight favorite to win.

Storro gave the Spartans their second individual state title Friday as she captured the high jump with a personal-best effort of 5-2.

For Storro, she extended her personal best each of the last two weeks. For the longest time, she was stuck at 4-10. She made 5-2 on her first attempt.

“It’s starting to sink in,” Storro said, smiling.

Storro said prayer was the difference.

“God intervened,” Storro said. “There’s no way I could humanely do it – that my body could do it. I’m the shortest one out there.”

Another state champion, Hank Yergler of Kellogg, also talked about divine intervention. Yergler came out of nowhere to capture the boys pole vault, jumping a personal-best by a foot and a half (12-6) as he won based on fewer misses.

“God must have played a role in it. How else can you explain it?” Yergler surmised.

Yergler said he used a new pole coupled with some advice from Coeur d’Alene vaulters.

“I just got onto it and got lucky,” said Yergler, a three-time state qualifier who had never medaled before. “I don’t know what to say. I wanted ‘state champion’ on the back of my sweatshirt.”

Asked if Yergler thought a state title was conceivable before Friday, he answered no.

“But I just shot for it,” he said.

Kellogg’s boys and girls medley relays each won state titles.

Brianna Baumberger, Alyssa Weingart, Cami Wendt and Jamie Brower combined to grab gold for the Kellogg girls as they won in a time of 1:54.70. Brower, who will be out to defend her state title in the 400 today, anchored with a 57-second split, making up several yards as she moved from fourth to first in the final 150 meters.

“Considering the pouring down rain, pretty good,” Kellogg coach Todd Howard said. “The first three girls got it around and Jamie finished it up.”

Ty Ketchum, Kevin Priest, Seth Patton and Tyler Powers teamed to win for the Kellogg boys (3:38.49). Powers, who will heavily favored to defend his 800 title today, pulled from third to first in the final 150 meters, powering the medley to victory.

The Wildcats had finished second the last two years.

“They went from fourth to first. That kind of speaks for itself,” Howard said.

Shantel Schirado of Bonners Ferry also was out to make up for a lost opportunity a year ago as she captured a state title in the pole vault (10-0).

Schirado, a junior, missed a month of the season last year with mono, coming back two days before the state-qualifying district meet. She finished 13th, jumping just 7-6.

Other 3A medal winners Friday were: John Macklin of Timberlake, third in the pole vault (12-6); Randy Cork of Priest River, second in the shot (47-6½) and fourth in the discus (138-3); Cami Wendt of Kellogg, fifth in the long jump (15-7); Whitney Payment of Priest River, fourth in the 3,200 (12:04.88); Jenna Robinson of St. Maries, third in the high jump (5-0).

“I felt really strong and confident coming in because I really wanted it,” Schirado said. “I’m so happy. I had a pretty bad season last year.”

In 1A, the Clark Fork boys medley foursome of Brian Young, Nate McChesnie, Clayton Hewitt and Jeremy Belville took second (3:47.16).

Nikita Amy of Kootenai took fifth in the discus (33-7).

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