For the second year in a row the Melba girls track and field team has come back to its school with a state championship trophy.
Head coach Vonnie Willis said she at attributes this to some strong upperclassmen wins during the May 17-18 state meet.
Seniors Emma Clark, Kylahn Heritage and Emily Oldham and junior Jordan Dayley led the Mustangs as they competed in the state meet at Middleton High School last weekend. Highlights included Clark taking first in girls pole vault at 10 feet, 6 inches and first in girls triple jump at 37 feet. Heritage took first in the girls 800-meter dash at 2 minutes, 24 seconds.
“She’s been hungry for a first-place win her whole track career,” Willis said. “She finally got it her senior year.”
Oldham for took fourth in girls discus (102 feet, 10 inches) and second in girls shot put (32 feet, 1 inch).
Dayley took second in the girls 300-meter hurdles at 46.65 seconds.
The girls 4x200-meter relay team received second place with a time of 1 minute, 48 seconds. The team consisted of freshman Telissa Christensen, sophomore Kate Clark, sophomore Dayley and junior Kortney Trappett.
“I would say we had a lot of third, fourth through eighth places that scored us points. We didn’t win by a huge amount so every one of those counted in our win,” Willis said. The team scored 99 points, which won the title.
Clark, Heritage and Oldham also have track and field scholarships as they head off to college in the near future.
“I’m just super proud of them and their work ethic,” Willis said. “They have amazing attitudes. We had difficult weather all season; the girls never complained. They just kept persevering.”
OTHER STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT HIGHLIGHTS
Melba baseball took first place in the 2A state tournament this past weekend, beating Declo 6-1 for the 2019 championship. Head coach Jason Phillips credited the win to strong pitching. Michael Huntsman and Henry Clark combined for nine strikeouts, three hits and only one run. The team finished the season 22-5.
“We entered the state tournament with a chip on our shoulder after losing the district championship game,” Phillips wrote in an email.
Melba still qualified to compete in the state tournament, and defeated Challis-Mackay 3-0 in the opening round. Mark Stradley closed out the game in the 10th inning, while Mustang batters combined for 10 hits — including two from John Reiber, Kaleb Zavala and a two-run triple by Tim Reinertson.
The Mustangs shut out Grangeville 1-0 in eight innings in the semifinal to advance to the championship game.
The team also was recognized as the 2A Academic Champions.
Melba softball finished fourth place last Saturday, falling 11-10 to West Jefferson in a weather-shortened tournament.