It was not exactly a record-breaking year but the 2009 Simplot Games at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello still showcases some of the nation’s best high school talent.
This year’s indoor meet did not produce a national record for the first time in 3 years. Jackie Coward of Tennessee clocked 8.18 to set the national 60-Meter Hurdle record in 2008, and Bianca Knight of Mississippi ran 22.97 to set the national 200-Meter record in 2007. These two records and two more from 2004-Elzie Coleman’s 45.92 in the 400 Meter and Ashley Owens’ 7.19 in the 60 Meter-still stand.
The Simplot Games and Idaho State’s noisy, old banked-board track at Holt Arena still draws prep athletes from around the nation. The Arena, built in 1970 and seating 12,000, was the nation’s first domed stadium on a collegiate campus, and the world’s second indoor football stadium after the Houston Astrodome, pretty heady stuff for Pocatello, Idaho. The Simplot Games feature the biggest indoor track and field meet in the West, the largest indoor high school meet in the West, and would not happen without the sponsorship and support of the J. R. Simplot Company.
The Track Eastern Carolina team from New Bern in North Carolina led the way this year by setting the only two meet records by winning the Sprint Medley Relay in 3:26.28 and the 4×200 Relay in 1:27.60. In the Sprint Medley, Andrew Hendrix ran the opening 400 leg in 48.72, and following the two 200 legs by Fuqauwn Greene and Mike Sparks and a bobbled baton exchange, Anthony (not Andrew) Hendrix ran the 800 leg in 1:54.33 to break the 3:27.80 record previously held by Muir High School of Pasendena, CA.
In the 4×200 Relay, Fuqauwn Greene ran the opening leg in 21.72, followed by Mike Sparks (22.28), Arthur Hendrix (21.91) and Andrew Hendrix (21.69) as the Track Eastern Carolina team broke its own meet record of 1:27.96 set in the 2004 meet.
Perhaps the outstanding individual of the meet was Kyle Macintosh of ATS Elite in Littleton (CO). Macintosh won the 60 Hurdles in 7.90, won the 400 Meter in 48.06, and anchored the ATS Elite team that won the 4×400 in 3:20.98. Running for ATS Elite was Kevin Scheuerman, Kumar Pinkney and Nate Guthals; Macintosh ended a close race by running the 3rd leg in 49.04.
Other outstanding performances at the meet included:
Ashton Purvis of St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland (CA) recorded a sprint double by winning the 60 Meters in 7.47 and the 200 Meter in 23.99. Purvis, only a junior, won both events last year and has now positioned herself to become a 3-time sprint double champion.
Ciarra Brewer of James Logan in Union City (CA) went 41-6 (41 feet, 6 inches) in winning the Triple Jump, setting a national sophomore class record in the process.
Trinity Wilson of St. Mary’s in Berkeley (CA) clocked 8.44 to win the 60-Meter Hurdles, setting a national freshman class record in the process.
Anna Jelmini of Shafter (CA) had progressively better throws before recording a 51-5 to win the Shot Put, the first female to top 50 feet this year.
Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley