BOISE – A step up in classification was not enough to keep Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy off the podium.
The Panthers, who swept the State 1A track and field titles a year ago, captured the 2A girls second-place trophy Saturday as the state meet concluded at Bronco Stadium. Coeur d’Alene Charter finished with 75 points, while Nampa Christian won its fifth consecutive 2A girls title with 132 points.
“With the move up to 2A, we were just looking to get on the podium,” Panthers coach Lewis Watkins said. “We are just as happy as when we won state last year.”
Junior Elizabeth Stadley led the way for Coeur d’Alene Charter, repeating as 400-meter champion with a time of 59.32 seconds. Stadley trailed early before rallying on the home stretch.
“That just seems to be the way it works out,” Stadley said. “I don’t try to do that, but it always seems like I have to kick it up a notch on the last 100.”
Junior sprinter Dominique Billingslea added third-place finishes in the 100 and 200. The Panthers’ top overall state performer was junior Sabrina Ewing, who won the triple jump Thursday, defended her high jump title Friday and added a third-place finish in the long jump.
“She’s been rock-solid all season,” Watkins said. “She’s probably the most talented athlete we’ve ever seen.”
Ewing, Stadley and Billingslea lead a strong group of underclassmen coming back for the Panthers next season.
“Everybody who placed high at state is coming back,” Ewing said. “We definitely have a chance for improvement next year.”
The Coeur d’Alene Charter boys placed eighth with 39 points, while Nampa Christian scored 100 points and completed the 2A sweep. Jacob Bowman led Coeur d’Alene Charter with a runner-up finish in the 200.
The Timberlake boys were denied a state trophy for the first time since 2003. The Tigers scored 65 points and finished fifth, one point shy of a trophy. Kimberly won the title with 77 points.
Top finishers for Timberlake included Derek Puckett, second in the 110 hurdles, fifth in the 300 hurdles; Ryan Sacksteder, fourth in the 1,600; Patrick Lagrimanta, fifth in the 400; and the second-place finish of the 4x100 relay team.
Ryan Ewing of Priest River finished fourth in the 800.
Bonners Ferry was the highest girls finisher from North Idaho, placing eighth with 31 points. Buhl won the title with 112 points.
Priest River junior Whitney Hill had a solid day with a runner-up finish in the 300 hurdles and a fifth-place finish in the 100 hurdles.
“I wanted it so bad,” said Hill, who passed several runners on the final straightaway of the 300 hurdles and finished in 47.84. “I just pushed as hard as I could all the way through the end.”
Other top performers included Caitlyn Nichols of Timberlake, third in the 200 and 400; Erin Hiatt of Bonners Ferry, third in the 800, fourth in the 300 hurdles; and Timberlake’s 4x100 relay team, third.
The Kootenai boys scored 54 points and tied for fourth. Liberty Charter won the title with 62 points.
“Our goal this year was to come out with a trophy,” Kootenai coach Shannon LaFountaine said. “We did that and had a lot of people contribute, so overall I think we had a really good weekend.”
Kootenai senior Dakota Amy wrapped up his career with a victory in the 300 hurdles. Amy finished in 41.11 and edged Luke Seubert of Deary by four-hundredths of a second with a desperation lunge across the finish line.
“It was a good race,” Amy said. “Any time I run against Seubert, it’s going to be close. He pushed me all year long.”
Steven Cook added a fourth-place finish in the 400 and Kootenai also took third in the 4x200 relay.
Clark Fork senior Adam Denham finished runner-up in the 1,600 with a time of 4:38.17. Denham won the 3,200 title in school-record time on Friday.
Raft River won the girls title with 96 points. No team from North Idaho finished in the top 10.
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