EAGLE — Lauren Elwer clutched the state championship trophy like she hadn’t seen it before.
This was No. 4 for the Bishop Kelly senior track and field star.
The Bishop Kelly girls track and field team won its unprecedented fifth straight 4A girls championship Saturday at Eagle High School. The Knights now have eight 4A state titles, the most in classification history, and pushed their program total to 11 state championships.
"It's definitely a super special program," Elwer said.
It wasn’t even close either. Bishop Kelly finished with 153 points. Skyline was the next closest at 67.
That’s what happens when you have 11 state placers and five state champions.
“We put a lot of work into this program,” Bishop Kelly coach Jeff Carpenter said. “It’s just about the process. We have a great strength and conditioning program. We have a lot of kids who play multiple sports, we’re big believers in that, and kids want to come out and be a part of the success.”
Aly Tekippe led the way with three titles. She repeated in both the long jump (18 feet, 1 inch) and pole vault (11-0). Tekippe also won as part of the record-setting 4x100-meter relay team with Jaiden Rodrigues, Anna Schmautz and younger sister Paige in a time of 48.40 seconds.
The Knights also got titles from their 4x200 relay team of Rodrigues, Kelsi Ramakers, Mallory Knell and Elwer, who all finished in 1:41.99.
Kelly Donnellan rounded it out with a title in the high jump at 5-4.
"We're one of the smallest schools in 4A and somehow, we just kick it up a notch," Tekippe said.
The Bishop Kelly boys, on the other hand, weren’t so lucky. They saw their three-year title reign end at the hands of Skyline by the narrowest of margins. The Grizzlies had 68 points to the the Knights’ 66.
EMMETT’S HELMS SETS STATE RECORD IN POLE VAULT: Landon Helms was running in the 300 hurdles when the pit opened for pole vault.
The Emmett freshman still had enough energy to set a new classification record.
Helms broke Skyview’s Robbie Haynie 18-year old record of 15-5 with a mark of 15-6 to win the pole vaulting championship.
“I’m giving myself an A+,” Helms said. “As I always say, ‘More bendy, more sendy. But in all honesty, I’m so excited because I finally caught up with the progression I should of have had.”
Helms cleared the mark on his third and final attempt. He had to or Brayden Denney of Hillcrest would have won on fewer missed tries.
Helms also won the 110 hurdles (14.48) and took third in the 300 hurdles (39.44).
CALDWELL’S RAMOS WINS DISCUS TITLE: Zack Ramos had a dream of winning state championships in both throwing events.
Still, one out of two isn’t bad.
A week after shockingly failing to qualify for state, despite having the classification’s top mark, the Caldwell senior thrower rebounded to win the 4A boys discus title at 167-8 for his first state championship.
“I feel pretty proud of myself,” Ramos said. “It’s energizing. I practiced all year for it and sometimes it didn’t also work out, but in the end, it paid off.”
Ramos had only been beaten twice in the shot put going into last week’s District III Championships. The only person that had gotten the best of him was Rigby’s Nathan Franz, who won the 5A state title.
But Ramos took ninth at districts with a mark of 43-7. It was his worst throw of the season by two feet and about eight feet below his season average. He hadn’t put a mark that low since his first year of throwing sophomore year.
“It was just on of those days that happens to everyone,” Ramos said. “For me, it just unfortunately happened at districts. But knowing that, I just had to put that behind me and focus on discus.”
He did, and finished unbeaten this year in the discus.
MIDDLETON’S CAMPBELL WINS 400: Ashley Campbell never had any intention of running the 400 last year.
The Middleton junior is now the event’s new state champion. She won the 4A girls 400 in a time of 57.90 seconds for her first state title.
“If someone would have told me my first state championship would come in the 400, I would have called them crazy,” Campbell said. “I never had the want or thought I would be this good at the 400. I always thought the 200 was my race. But it still feels amazing. I’ll take it.”
Campbell had really never competed in the 400 until this season. She did compete in it during a quad meet at Mountain Home last year. But Campbell admits to not taking it that seriously.
She finished sixth at 1:06.26.
But that changed once Campbell got a look of the school record time of 58.9 seconds. Campbell broke it in the fourth meet of the season and thought she was done with it.
She was only beaten once this season. Campbell also had the fastest time (57.16) in the 4A classification and second best in the state.
She will run in the 400 next year.
“It’s kind of a love-hate relationship now,” Campbell jested. “I hate it cause I hate the feeling in the middle of the race when you’re just dead, but then I love it because I’m good at it.”
OTHER STATE CHAMPIONS: Vallivue’s Shacole Hughes claimed the shot put title at 40-9. The Middleton boys 4x400 relay team of Rick Mahew, Jace Rodgers, Brice Adams and Dax Wyatt won in 3:22.93. The Middleton girls 4x400 relay team of Campbell, Sydney Clegg, Carlee Heindel and Addi Wyatt took the top prize at 4:02.66.