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Trojans’ Rebecca Bauman goes out in style

BOISE – Post Falls senior Rebecca Bauman finally captured the state championship that had eluded her.

A qualifier in the discus and shot put all four years, Bauman wrapped a nice bow on her final state appearance Thursday by taking gold in the discus and taking second in the shot during the first day of the State 5A meet at Boise State University’s Bronco Stadium.

Bauman won with a career best, tossing the discus 138 feet, 2 inches on her first throw. Then she stood back and hoped that defending state champ and heavily favored Shae Carson of Coeur d’Alene wouldn’t upend her like she did last year.

Carson came up short, finishing runner-up with a throw of 135-2, well short of her state-leading 147-8.

“I don’t think I can put into words how I feel,” Bauman said. “I’ve been dreaming about this since my freshman year.”

Prior to the discus, Bauman put the shot 38-1¾, one-quarter inch shy of her season and career best. Justine Zap of CdA took third with a personal best by a foot (37-9½) and the heavily favored Carson took fourth (37-4), 4 feet shy of her season and career best.

Bauman is headed to the Air Force Academy to throw. First, though, she heads to a six-week boot camp at the school in Colorado Springs, Colo., 12 days after graduation.

Bauman’s coach told her not to celebrate until after her final throw.

Carson had one final throw before her and then Bauman stepped into the ring a final time.

“As soon as the discus left my hand I started celebrating,” Bauman said.

It was a flip-flop season for Bauman. A year ago, she beat Carson at every meet until state. This year, Carson beat Bauman at every meet until state.

Coeur d’Alene junior long-distance ace Kinsey Gomez was a woman among girls in the 3,200 meters. She won by 110 meters, finishing in a time of 11 minutes, 2.04 seconds.

CdA was tied for first place with Eagle after the opening day with 33 points. Post Falls is third with 27.

Gomez beat defending state champ Liz Brandon of Eagle by more than 19 seconds.

“My approach was I’m healthy and I’m going to go run to the best of my ability,” Gomez said.

Gomez, who captured her second state cross country title in three years last fall, was alluding to an abbreviated state appearance a year ago. She was in second with a little less than 200 meters to go when she tripped, hitting the metal guard rail around the inside edge of the track. She didn’t fall, but it essentially knocked her out of the race.

“I don’t remember what happened,” Gomez said. “They told me I started stumbling around and screaming that I was hurt. They said I was a walking zombie.”

CdA junior David Norris anchored the Vikings’ boys distance medley that took second (8:01.83).

Other 5A medal winners were: Kierstie Shellman of Lake City, second in the pole vault (10-6); Cody Curtis of CdA took third in the 3,200 (9:41.5) and Norris took sixth (9:48.59); Matt Wardell and Austin Funk of Post Falls took third (155-4) and sixth (151-0), respectively, in the discus and Wardell placed third in the shot (50-2); the Lake City girls took fourth (9:42.49) in the distance medley; Chelsea Lundgren of Lewiston and Jalana White of Post Falls finished third (35-7) and fourth (35-½) respectively in the triple jump; and Missy Morris of LC finished fourth (118-10) in the discus.

In 4A, Margaret Behr of Moscow captured first in the shot (36-7½) and third in the discus (110-8). Sandpoint junior Christina Johnson took second in the shot (36-3¼) and second in the discus (111-9).

Matt Morris of Moscow took fourth in the pole vault (12-6), Kaitlyn Whitesitt of Lakeland took fourth in the pole vault (9-6) and Mike Hubbard of Sandpoint tied for sixth (5-10) in the high jump.