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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Vikings sweep IEL track

Moments before the Inland Empire League track and field championships began Tuesday, the Coeur d’Alene girls had some unsettling news.

An X-ray confirmed that senior sprinter/hurdler Hanna Johnson is out for the rest of the season with a stress fracture above her right ankle.

Johnson finished second at the State 5A meet in the 300-meter hurdles and anchored the 400 relay that took third at state last year.

Kinsey Gomez, Dayna Drager, Rachel Crawford and Amanda Buttrey more than stepped up for the Vikings, who defended their conference title with 155.5 points as CdA held off runner-up Post Falls (147).

The Vikings’ foursome combined to win the 3,200 distance medley in a time of 10 minutes, 11.89 seconds. With the Vikings holding a 6½-point lead going into the final event, they combined to take second in the 1,600 relay and clinch the team victory.

In individual events, Gomez was a double winner in the 800 (2:31.69) and 1,600 (5:10.45). Gomez was named the track female athlete of the meet. She broke the meet record in the 1,600, previously held by Breanna Sande of LC, by nearly 9 seconds.

Gomez led a 1-2-3 finish in the 800. Buttrey was second and Crawford was third as the Vikings scored 24 points in the event.

A stiff head wind knocked the athletes around on the backstretch of most races.

Gomez wanted to take more time off in the 1,600.

“I wanted to go faster,” she said. “It’s the best race that I’m (in) right now.”

Drager won in the 400 (1:02.39).

Coeur d’Alene’s boys, meanwhile, knocked off defending champ Lake City. The Vikings had just a 2½-point lead going into the 1,600 relay, and the foursome of Carson Green, David Norris, Steven Casley and Cade Mendoza won (3:31.83), trimming nearly 7 seconds off their previous best.

The Vikings finished with 120 points and LC (116.5) took second.

CdA freshman long-distance ace Cody Curtis was named the male track athlete of the meet. He won the 1,600 (4:28.69) and 3,200 (10:12.10).

Other CdA winners were Casley in the 400 (51.75) and Connor Williams in the triple jump (40 feet, 2½ inches).

The male field athlete of the meet was Sandpoint sophomore Freedom Watson, who won with a personal best in the shot put (53-9), breaking the meet record (53-7½). He took third in the discus (140-4½).

Watson popped the winning throw on his second attempt in the prelims. He didn’t break 50 on his final three attempts.

“I just psyched myself out,” Watson said. “I did feel pretty good at the beginning. I just lost my mojo.”

Post Falls’ Rebecca Bauman has steadily watched her discus throws improve this season. On her second throw in the prelims, she extended her season best by 11 feet with a throw of 131-7. Shae Carson of CdA took second with a personal best of 124-1.

“I wasn’t consistent at all (last year),” said Bauman, who didn’t have a throw less than 120. “I’ve been working trying to fix things. It’s nice to finally see it start to come together. I’m consistent at a higher (level) this year.”

Bauman took third in the shot put (35-5). Margaret Behre of Moscow won (35-7).

The female field athlete of the meet was Lewiston junior Chelsea Lundgren, who set meet records with wins in the triple jump (36-5) and long jump (17-4).

In the girls high jump, Tiffany Kuehn of LC edged Tori Bertsch of Post Falls in a jump off. Both cleared 5-4.

In the boys, Jayson Washington of Moscow was a double winner in the 100 (11.13) and 200 (22.90). Nathan Hayden of LC won the discus (148-1½), breaking a school record by nearly 2 feet.

LC was without state champion hurdler Tanner Schalk, who pulled a quad at the Pasco Invite last Saturday.

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