SIMPLOT GAMES STUNS WITH MULTIPLE BROKEN RECORDS AND PHOTO FINISH PERFORMANCES

Pocatello, Idaho – After an electrifying afternoon at Idaho State University’s ICCU Dome, the 44th annual Simplot Games ended with multiple records broken and a vast collection of outstanding performances.

Nearly 2,200 high school athletes from across the United States, Canada, and Australia competed over the three-day event, cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd and a host of Olympic legends.

Distance events held center-stage for much of the afternoon as meet records in the boys’ 1600 meters and boys’ and girls’ 3200 meters fell, along with the event’s freshman 1600-meter records for both boys and girls.

Jane Hedengren of Orem, Utah, snapped the girls’ 3200-meter record with an impressive run of 10:02.42, the fastest time in the U.S. this year. “I really wanted to do well today and show off all of the hard work I’ve been putting in,” she said. “I didn’t come into today eying the record. Records are hard to beat, especially at a legendary meet like the Simplot Games.”

Just a few minutes later, Daniel Simmons of American Fork, Utah, charged to the front of the boys’ 3200-meter run, intent on breaking the meet record he set just last year. “I was in the zone just trying to run as fast as I could,” Simmons said. “I wasn’t really worried about anyone else.” With a furious kick on the last lap, he finished in 8:48.08, breaking his old record by more than five seconds and setting the top time in the U.S. this year. 

Earlier in the day, JoJo Jourdon of Salt Lake City, Utah, got the record-smashing party started with a 1600-meter and U.S. top time of 4:07.73, reached after encouraging the crowd to cheer him on. “I wanted to make it more entertaining for the crowd,” he said. “I didn’t know if I was going to break the record, but I knew I had the win.”

Freshman meet records were set by Wyatt Carr of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, at 4:27.70, and Adria Favero from Salt Lake City, Utah, with a time of 5:03.19.

The long events weren’t the only highlights, however. The Blazin’ Bruins team from Long Beach, California, won medals in seven events, including victories in two boys’ relays and a sweep of the girls’ relays including the 4×200-, 4×400-, 4×800-, and 1600 sprint medley relays, with their mark in the medley being the fastest in the country this year.

The girls’ 200 meters featured a lap of shoulder-to-shoulder sprinting from two super sophomores, with Christine Huckins of Nampa, Idaho, edged Olivia Kirk of Simi Valley, California, at the finish line by less than a thousandth of a second.

“I just tried to finish strong and lean at the end,” Huckins said. “I thought it was going to be identical.” Kirk said: “I knew it was close, but I knew she had it.”

Jordan Coleman of Northridge, California, swept the boys’ 60- and 200-meter events, running 6.82 and 21.60 seconds, respectively, to outpace a fast Simplot Games’ field.

Along with event winners, hundreds of athletes set personal bests and advanced their preparation for the upcoming high school season.

In all, more than 2,000 athletes from three countries competed over the three-day competition in more than 40 individual and team events.

Full results can be found at www.simplotgames.com

Simplot Games remains the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field event. Sponsored by the J.R. Simplot Company since 1979, the Simplot Games are held at Idaho State University’s ICCU Dome  in Pocatello, Idaho.

For more information on Simplot Games, please visit our website at www.simplotgames.com. You may also contact the Simplot Games Media Team at media@simplotgames.com.

NOTE: This version is updated with a correction to show that Salt Lake City’s Adria Favero broke the meet’s freshman girl’s 1600-meter record. The original version credited another runner. We apologize for the error.