Carey High School senior Jaide Parke had grown accustomed to navigating her way through traffic over four years of playing Panther girls’ basketball—eventually becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer this past winter.
But Parke didn’t encounter much traffic in her distance races on the track this spring. After the gun fired to start her events, she usually had clear sailing in consistently winning her 800-meter, 1600m and 3200m races by wide margins.
Friday’s State 1A 3200m girls’ final at Middleton High School was a whole different story, even though Parke entered the eight-lap race with the best qualifying time of the 16 finalists at 12:25.84. This was a state final, after all, with Parke seeking her first title.
She knew Butte County senior Carly Hansen with her 12:30.17 qualifying time was going to pose a stiff challenge.
And Parke was correct. She led Hansen for the first four laps, the pair taking off from the rest of the 1A field. Then Hansen took over the lead for the next three laps—with Parke only a couple of steps behind.
The outcome came down to the final 110 meters, which is where Parke “was a little lucky,” she said later. Hansen, the leader, had to move a little to avoid a lapped runner. That’s the point where Parke swung around Hansen and sprinted ahead down the track to win the race by 1.41 seconds.
Carey coaches Lane Kirkland and Lee Cook likened Parke’s opportunistic decision to pass Hansen at that critical juncture to a NASCAR race where a stock car makes a similar late pass for the win.
Parke’s winning time was 11:52.77, about 15 seconds faster than her previous personal record and only eight seconds off the 11:44.51 winning pace of Richfield’s Sasha Kent last May. Parke finished second to Kent last year in 12:09.68.
With Parke scoring 19 points herself, Carey’s girls tied for eighth place with 33.5 points in the 35-school standings with Nezperce capturing its first State 1A girls’ team title with 70 points over defending champ Liberty Charter of Nampa (65). Butte County of Arco (56) was third and Challis (49) fourth.
Camas County senior Stephanie Moore placed second in the long jump (16-7.25) and eighth in triple jump (32-6). Musher sophomore Issac Simon tied for second place in boys’ high jump (5-8).
Community School sophomore Sydney Hagenbuch, her school’s only contestant, finished sixth in the 400m dash with a time of 1:02.80.
The Camas boys (12 points) placed 25th among teams. Kamiah’s boys, last year’s 2A state team champ, captured their seventh overall state track and field title 86-78 over Logos of Moscow. Victory Charter of Nampa (52) was third and Hagerman’s Pirates (38) fourth.
Other placings for Carey and Camas County athletes during the two-day State 1A meet:
4—Jaide Parke 1600m (5:37.32); Taylor Gorringe (Camas) discus (110-4); Jordan Robles (Camas) discus (141-9); and Carey’s girls’ sprint medley relay team (2:00.80);
5—Jaide Parke 800m (2:32.31); Carey’s girls’ 4x100m relay (53.57); and Carey’s girls’ 4x200m relay (1:53.84);
8—Brittani Hulme (Camas) high jump (4-6); Daphne Kirkland (Carey) pole vault (7-6); and Hailee Johnson (Carey) long jump (15-2.25).
Narrowly missing points with ninth-place state finishes were Davey Knowlton (Camas) 800m (2:09.95), Luis Garcia (Carey) long jump (19-1.5), Colton Rasmussen (Camas) triple jump (40-0), Hunter Rasmussen (Camas) triple jump (31-7.5) and Francisco Gamino (Carey) shotput (44-11).