Idaho high school track and field athletes missed most of their 2020 competitive season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so last Thursday’s 11-school Valley Invitational meet was a welcome return to the oval for southern Idaho small-school runners.

The Carey Panther and Murtaugh Red Devil boys waged a close battle for the team honors in Hazelton, with Murtaugh (116 points) using its 60-point field event total to slip past better-balanced Carey (115).

Carey won two of the four boys’ relays and outscored three-time defending boys’ state champ Valley by 32 points.

Senior Hunter Smith of Carey won three boys’ events including both hurdle races.

Senior Samantha McFadyen of Camas County amassed 40 of her team’s 47 points by sweeping the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter sprints, and high jump.

Carey senior Sawyer Mecham won boys’ triple jump by over two feet and was second in the 1600m run.

The Carey boys won gold in the 4x200-meter relay and 1600m sprint medley. Carey’s girls captured the 4x100m relay by nearly two seconds.

The Raft River girls from Malta—two-time defending State 1A champions—piled up 82 points in the distance runs to pull ahead of Murtaugh 162-134 in the girls’ team totals. Carey (74 points) finished third among 10 girls’ teams.

Team results and top individual placers for Carey and Camas County from Thursday’s Valley meet, with personal records (PR) noted:

Boys’ team standings: 1—Murtaugh 116 points. 2—Carey 115 (2 sprints, 20 distances, 28 hurdles, 34 relays, 31 field). 3—Valley 83. 4—Raft River 71. 5—Idaho City 70. 6—Camas County 59 (17 sprints, 7 hurdles, 20 distances, 10 relays, 5 field). 7—Hansen 49. 8—Lighthouse Christian 34. 9—Castleford 30. 10—Glenns Ferry 25. 11—Hagerman 19.

Girls’ team standings: 1—Raft River 162 points. 2—Murtaugh 134. 3—Carey 74 (15 sprints, 0 distances, 12 hurdles, 24 relays, 23 field). 4—Idaho City 61. 5—Valley 60. 6—Camas County (34 sprints, 3 distances, 0 hurdles, 0 relays, 10 field). 7—Castleford 44. 8—Hagerman 21. 9—Glenns Ferry 19. 10—Hansen 11.

RELAYS

First place relays—Carey boys’ 4x200m with Riley Morey, Conner Simpson, Cris Gamino, Sawyer Mecham 1:39.43; Carey boys’ sprint medley with Conner Simpson, Cris Gamino, Riley Morey, Sawyer Mecham 3:51.01; Carey girls’ 4x100m with Mialee Hennefer, Berenice Vargas, Shaylee Farnworth, Lizbeth Ruiz 55.54.

TOP LOCAL INDIVIDUALS

First places—Hunter Smith (C) 110m hurdles (18.35 seconds), 300m hurdles (44.11, PR) and high jump (6-0, PR); Samantha McFadyen (Camas) 100m (13.24), 200m (27.26), 400m (1:01.88) and high jump (5-0); Sawyer Mecham (C) triple jump (39-9).

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