The 2018 track & field season was a solid one for West Side’s Cyrus Rindlisbacher, who scored points in both hurdles races at the 2A State Championships.
However, Rindlisbacher wasn’t satisfied with just being good, so he was driven to perfect his craft in the offseason, and then tested himself time and time again against elite hurdlers during the 2019 indoor and outdoor campaigns.
Rindlisbacher was rewarded for his tireless work ethic in a huge way at the 2A state meet, which concluded Saturday at Middleton High School. The senior put on a performance for the ages in blowing away a 110-meter hurdles field that included two-time defending state champion Garrett Hawkes, and then won the 300 hurdles title a few hours later.
Rindlisbacher’s time of 14.29 seconds in the 110 hurdles would have broken the 1A, 3A and 4A state records and was the second-fastest time by a prep hurdler in the Gem State this spring. Additionally, Rindlisbacher would have dominated any of the Utah state meets with that time.
“Cyrus has worked so hard to perfect his hurdles and it showed today,” WS head coach Tyson Moser said. “It’s very rewarding to see a kid put the work in and get the prize. We have been blessed with tons of great athletes and many state champions over the years, but Cyrus’s races today really set him apart as not only a 2A champion, but one of — if not the best — hurdler in Idaho (this season).”
In the process, the future Weber State hurdler lowered his own school record by a quarter of a second.
“It feels so good,” Rindlisbacher said. “At the beginning of indoor track, I told my teammates that I was going to run a 14.2 in the 110s. My teammates and I never truly thought I was going to do it, but look at me now.”
Powered by Rindlisbacher, a gutsy effort by distance runner Jacob Moffat and several other competitors, the West Side boys captured the second-place trophy with 91 points. The Pirates showcased their depth by scoring points in 16 of the 18 events.
As excepted, Nampa Christian used its star power to pull away from the Pirates and defend its team title. The Trojans racked up 131.5 points.
“I wasn’t disappointed by second place at all,” Moffat said. “Nampa Christian, they performed exceptionally and, I mean, they recruit their guys and we’re from a public school just trying our hardest, and we got second. And we beat Cole Valley (Christian), we beat Aberdeen, and it was just a great meet for (our team).”
Moffat certainly did his best to keep West Side within striking distance of Nampa Christian. The junior persevered through a brutal two days and finished in the top three in all of his individual events — the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 — and anchored the Pirates’ medley relay squad to the bronze medal. Moffat ran 6,400 grueling meters at the meet.
Moffat started his Saturday by claiming the bronze medal in the 800 (2:00.38), and then dug deep and established a new personal record in the 1,600 with of runner-up clocking of 4:31.13.
Rindlisbacher, Moffat’s close friend, lowered his own West Side record in the 300 hurdles to a 49.58. The senior also ran legs on a pair of Pirate relay teams that placed third and turned in season-best efforts, to boot. The foursome of Rindlisbacher, Dillon Robinson, Josh Reeder and Gideon Beutler completed the 4x400 in 3:29.09, and Rindlisbacher teamed up with Enoch Ward, Byler Shurtliff and Brigham Cook to run the 4x100 in 44.59.
“It means the world,” Rindlisbacher said of running his best in the biggest meet of his life. “I never thought in a million years I was going to run as good as I did. Also, my teammates all ran their hearts out. We would have liked to win state, but things happen. All in all, it wasn’t a good meet just for me, it was a great meet for all of West Side.”
Another West Side relay squad, one comprised of Cook, Shurtliff, Robinson and Brock Gittins, claimed the bronze medal in the 4x200 (1:34.17). Robinson finished eighth in the 300 hurdles (43.77), as did Cook in the 200 (24.03) and Shurtliff in the long jump (19 feet, 1.5 inches).
Reeder also shined in his signature event as he occupied the No. 5 spot on the podium in the 800 after PRing with a time of 2:01.67.
On the girls side, the Pirates were led by Lilia Ebanez and Ellie Stegelmeier, who scored team points in both hurdles races. The senior was fifth in the 100 hurdles (16.41) and seventh in the longer discipline (48.79).
Ebanez finished off her career by clearing the bar at 9-6 in the pole vault and securing the bronze medal. The senior was a four-time district champion in the event.
“Lilia had a great day and it was a nice ending to her career,” Moser said. “She has overcome several physical and personal challenges the last two seasons and it was nice to see her with that bronze medal.”
Ashlyn Willis earned the No. 4 position on the podium in the 800 (PR time of 2:28.66), and West Side teammate Natalia Lewis finished eighth in the 1,600 (5:40.23).
The Lady Pirates placed 11th with 21 points. The Melba girls reigned supreme with 99 points, 12 more than West Jefferson.
4A STATE MEET
Taite Priestley and Andrew Iverson highlighted the final day of competition for Preston at the 4A State Championships, which were contested at Eagle High School. Priestley won the bronze medal in the high jump after clearing the bar at 6-2, and Iverson placed sixth in the 300 hurdles (41.30).
“Andrew getting that medal is so well deserved,” PHS head coach Brandon Lyon said. “Very few kids work as hard as he does, and he always shows up for the big races. He had a huge breakthrough in both hurdles races at district last week, and really continued with that this week. It sets him up for a special senior year.”
Larissa Knapp had a solid weekend for the Indians as she was eighth in the discus (108-7) and shot put (31-5.5). Teammate Quincy Hyde finished seventh in the shot put (32-5).
Riley Ward and Harli Hymas just missed out on scoring points for Preston, but both athletes PRed in their best event. Ward was ninth in the 1,600 (5:28.23), and Hymas 10th in the 800 (2:27.16).
The Indians tallied 15 points on the boys side and 14 on the girls. The Bishop Kelly girls obliterated the field with a whopping 153 points, while the Knights held off Skyline and Pocatello in a compelling boys competition. The three schools were separated by four points.
Nearly all of Preston’s state qualifiers are underclassmen, and Lyon is optimistic about the future.
“We really have a young team,” he said. “Many of these kids were at the state meet for the first time and gained valuable experience that we will use in the years to come. We lose some great field event kids to graduation this year, but we have some good youth in those events and we did not have a senior on the track at district or state, so we are excited about what the future holds.”