MIDDLETON, Idaho — Abigail Gorton had a weekend to remember, peaking at the right time and winning titles in the 3,200 and 1,600 meter runs in Middleton, Idaho, at the 3A state track championships. The cold, rainy day did not slow down Gorton as she set a new school record with a winning time of 11:45.89 in the 3200. Melody Braden had the old record of 11:50.39 in 2008.
The running field consisted of the defending state champ, senior Keely Wolf of Gooding, as well as freshman Emma Hillam of Fruitland, who won the 3A cross country title last fall. The three runners separated from the pack at about the 1,600 mark. Gorton continued to push the pace, establishing a 75-meter lead. Wolf and Hillam tried to make a move in the final 300 meters, but Gorton’s lead was too much for them to make up.
“Abigail ran a great tactical race for her running style,” said Coach Travis Hinthorn. “She does not have a big kick at the end, but she has great endurance. She needed to create a big gap and then hang on, and that’s exactly what she did.”
On the next day, Gorton proved she can run in rain or sun, by winning the 1,600 meter 3A state title on a much warmer day. Gorton ran a similar race by pulling away from the pack at about the 800 meter mark, building a large enough lead so the distance was far too great for anyone to out-kick her in the end. Gorton also broke the 1,600 school record with a winning time of 5:28.53. Jordan Young set the old record of 5:29.43 at the 2018 state track championships.
“Abigail has been running well all year, but at state she went to another level,” said Hinthorn. “She deserves all the success she gets. She works hard and has a great attitude. You cheer for kids like that, because as great of an athlete as she is, she is even a better person.”
Victoria Rae defended her title by winning the 3A shot put. Rae had already won before her final put, and with the crowd chanting “forty, forty, forty,” she broke the elusive 40-foot barrier with a personal best of 40 feet, 04.5 inches on her final put of the season.
Holly Ansley medaled by placing third in the long jump with a leap of 16’ 1.75” and also placed seventh in the triple jump with a distance of 33-10.5.
The 4x400 team of Madi McIntyre, Jennifer Schmitz, Camille Ussher and Emma Pinkerton placed fourth with a season best time of 4:14.79. Schmitz, Ussher, and Pinkerton teamed up with Morgan Burt to place sixth on the 4x200 meter team in a time of 1:52.03.
Jerzie Pluid and Chloe Kupper also scored points for the Badgers. Pluid cleared 4 feet, 8 inches to place eighth in the high jump, and Kupper ran a 2:28.82 in the 800 to place eighth. The Lady Badgers placed sixth out of the 19 3A teams with 48 points. Kimberly won the meet with 101 points.
Freshman Quinn Tucker led the boys in scoring by placing sixth in the shot put with a toss of 43’-09.75. Aeden Carpenter cleared 11 feet in the pole vault to tie for seventh place.