POCATELLO, Idaho 2/18/2012 - Trinity Wilson and Dallin Farnsworth are two of the athletes with a special attachment to the Simplot Games and both seniors left an enduring mark on the meet Saturday at Pocatello, Idaho's Holt Arena.
Wilson, of St. Mary's College (Berkeley, Calif.) thrived in a highly anticipated matchup with sophomore Dior Hall and ran the second-fastest 60-meter hurdles in prep history, 8.23 seconds.
Wilson became a four-time winner at the Simplot Games and trails only 2008 winner Jacquelyn Coward (8.16) on the all-time list. Hall hit the final hurdle and fell back from second to last place.
"I told myself ' You have to compete. You can't underestimate (Hall),'" Wilson said.
Farnsworth made local history at the meet, pulling off perhaps the best performance by a hometown athlete in the 34 years of the meet. The crowd came alive and helped spur Farnsworth of Highland High to a meet record 9:10.36 in the 3,200 meters. That broke Josh Rohatinsky's 12-year-old record and is all the more impressive because of Pocatello's 4,500-foot elevation. It is the No. 2 performance in the country so far this year, trailing only Edward Cheserek.
"Going into that last lap the stadium really helped me," Farnsworth said. "There was screaming. The last 100 meters I was passing runners and (the crowd) was yelling at me to 'go' and it gave me that extra push there at the end."
Farnsworth, who predicted a record before the meet, has participated all four years, like Wilson. He also trains on the track, located on the Idaho State University campus, frequently. His executed his race plan flawlessly, running even 4:35/4:35 splits. He ran just under 2:15 for his final 800.
Barber takes a stab at PV record
Just as Farnsworth and Pocatello freshman Elijah Armstrong – who was second 9:21.30 – were bringing the crowd to a roar, pole vaulter Shawnacy Barber kept the buzz alive by taking national record attempts at 17 feet, 9.75 inches.
Barber, from Kingwood, Texas, got his legs and hips over on his final attempt but rubbed the bar off with his chest. He won the meet with 17-2.75.
"The last one was the closest," Barber said. "I moved up a pole on the first two and that wasn't the key (so I went back to the previous one). The last attempt I almost had it so I'm pretty confident I can get it."
Fellow Texan Devin Field (Desoto) won two events, including a new PR in the 60 hurdles, running US#2 7.83 seconds. Earlier, he won the long jump with a first-attempt 24-2.50. Subsequent jumps produced got progressively shorter and he sought out a massage for a sore lower back between the long jump and hurdles.
Canadian Tyler Smith ran away from Strymar Livingston in the 800 final, smashing the meet record and winning for the second year in a row in 1:49.51. Livingston of New York City, the U.S. leader in the 500 and 600, was second in 1:51.90.
Fellow Canadians Sage Watson and Jenna Westaway also were winners on Saturday. Watson ran 53.93 to win the 400 and Westaway won the 800 in 2:14.46.
Ries injured on winning long jump
Sophomore Chyna Ries of Denver (George Washington) was injured on her winning long jump attempt (19-6) and passed on her final three attempts with a painful left shin. Ries also withdrew from the girls 60 meters, missing out on a chance to race Hannah Cunliffe and Marybeth Sant.
Sant, a junior from Valor Christian (Colorado), won in 7.48.
Xaiver McAllister from Newburgh (New York) upped his PR in the high jump, clearing 6-10 and taking three attempts at seven feet.
"(Seven) is my goal," McAllister said. "I'm not going to be excited until I get it."
McCallister jumped 6-10 in track splikes. He has high jump shoes but they aren't broken in yet. He is still a newcomer to the event, having picked it up for the first time last May. The day after his first practice he competed in a meet and cleared 6-3. On Saturday, he also ran a leg on Newburgh's winning 4x400 relay.
McKenzie Johnson of Clairemont (San Diego) won the girls pole vault at 12-6. She tried to make 13 feet, which would have been a inch shy of the meet record.
Nye, Harris run top 1,600 times
In a stirring boys 1,600, Brad Nye burned through the final 200 in 27.3 and ran US#1 4:12.39. Erik Harris from Twin Falls, Idaho was a close second in US#2 4:13.66.
The tall Nye (6-3), from Davis (Kaysville, Utah) is increasingly drawing comparisons to former Utah prep great Luke Puskedra.
"He's one of my heroes," Nye said. "I don't know him personally, but I like him and I like (Andrew) Wheating. When tall guys do well it makes me happy."
The girls distance races were overshadowed a bit by the boys but also produced solid efforts at altitude. Jamies Stokes of Ogden, Utah outleaned Tabor Scholl to win the 1,600 in 5:00.11. Natalie Shields of East (Salt Lake City) ran 10:46.02 to win the 3,200.
Long Beach Poly (California) sophomore Ariana Washington ran a sterling US#1 in the 200 meters, clocking 23.83.
Sasha Wallace of Holy Names (Oakland, Calif.), a training partner of Trinity Wilson, also had a brilliant meet. She moved to US#1 in the triple jump with 40-10 and to US#3 in the 60 hurdles with 8.41 seconds.
Scott Carter of Elizabeth, Colo. was the meet's final winner, taking the boys triple jump with US#6 48-11.75 -- a one-foot PR.