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Idaho High School Track and Field: Introducing The Bell Lap
Marlowe Hereford's weekly track and field notebook has launched
Published: 3/26/2024 2:08:36 PM
Marlowe Hereford
Contributing Writer


Welcome to the new weekly track notebook, The Bell Lap.

This is the first edition of a notebook which will publish every Tuesday through the duration of the Idaho high school track season. 

I have had the idea for this notebook for a while and am grateful to the IdahoSports crew for being interested, supporting my plans and encouraging me to move forward. I also intend to write a weekly notebook in the fall throughout cross country season.

This is an exciting time for Idaho high school track and cross country, with each year bringing new accolades and accomplishments. A runner and former high school athlete myself, I am in my 11th year of covering both sports in Idaho and I will always welcome the opportunity to write about them.

My hope for this notebook is to share what is happening--and what is upcoming--with high school track athletes of all classifications around the Gem State, continue to cultivate communication with coaches and athletes I have known for several years and get to know coaches, athletes and programs I have not had the opportunity to become acquainted with or write about yet. One of my biggest goals and hopes is to establish contacts in all six districts of Idaho as this notebook publishes. 

As history continues to be made in both sports in Idaho, I will acknowledge it. For as long as I have lived here, I have stayed curious about when someone last achieved a certain mark or broke a particular barrier, and I am always eager to share when that happens.

I welcome feedback and input, and I look forward to bringing this notebook to you each week in the spring and fall. Feel free to reach out on IdahoSports' social media accounts in response to these notebooks, or my Twitter/X account: @mwhereford

Early Season Impressions

It is still March, but it is never too early for personal bests.

Timberline freshman Ruby Ihmels, who won the 5A girls individual cross country state title in October to lead the Wolves to the team championship, is having quite the high school track debut. On March 16 at the Arcadia Distance Challenge in Arcadia, Calif., she placed second in the varsity girls invitational 1,600 in 4:55.11 and won the varsity girls invitational 3,200 in 10:47.57, both personal bests. She was the top freshman finisher in each of her races.

Her 1,600 time currently is the fastest in Idaho this season for any classification, and her 3,200 time is currently No. 2 fastest this season for any classification behind Skyline senior Nelah Roberts' 10:32.9.

Furthermore, Ihmels' 4:55.11 is No. 9 all-time outdoor in Idaho on record in the girls 1,600 for any classification and her 10:47.57 is No. 15 all-time in the girls 3,200. 

Another athlete who has moved up the outdoor all-time list with an early season personal best is Sandpoint senior and defending 4A girls shot put state champion Ivy Smith. Her shot put winning mark of 43-10 from March 22 at the Lewiston Invitational is No. 10 all-time on record in Idaho, and she is undefeated in the event thus far this season.

An athlete also in the top 10 of the shot put all-time list is fellow north Idaho thrower and Bonners Ferry senior Asha Abubakari (personal best 44-0 from last year's 3A District 1 championships, eighth all-time in Idaho), the two-time defending 3A state champion in girls shot put and discus.

The two have faced each other twice so far this season, March 16 at the Bonners Ferry Invite and March 22 at the Lewiston Invitational. They went 1-2 in both throwing finals at Bonners Ferry--Abubakari first, Smith second in discus and Smith first, Abubakari second in shot put--and went 1-2 in shot put at Lewiston with Smith first and Abubakari second.

On the horizon

April is almost here, and with it arrives bigger meets. 

Centennial hosts the Patriot Invite on April 6, which has 23 teams registered as of March 24, and the annual Arcadia Invitational, home to numerous high school track records, takes place April 5 through 6 at Arcadia High School in California. Athletes from Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Eagle, Rocky Moutain, Skyline and Vallivue are registered for Arcadia as of March 24.

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