Thirty young women once again claimed the honor of academic state champions, with the highest average GPA of any 3A track and field team in Idaho.

There was little contest across the 3A district with 95 percent of Teton’s squad boasting a 3.5 GPA or higher. Teton excelled both on the track and in the classroom this season, consciously devoting at least one practice per week to their studies. Head Coach Jacob Zarpentine is pleased with their success.

“These girls did a great job and take their academics seriously,” said Zarpentine. “It carried over into their competition too, so now eight of them will go to the state meet.”

After an exciting second place finish at the district meet last week, eight boys from the men’s side will also represent Teton, bringing the squad’s number to 16 — one of the largest qualifying group in program history.

Both the boys’ and girls’ team placed second behind rival Sugar-Salem. The boys’ 4x400 relay secured a dramatic win over the Diggers to claim an automatic berth to state. They will also represent Teton in the 4x200m and medley relays as well. Taryn Paradis, Jessica Bixby, and Jeremiah Otto secured Teton’s lone victories in their individual events. Paradis placed first in the long and triple jumps. Bixby championed the discus throw. Otto ran a personal best on the season with a time of 51.68 in the 400m. Aspen Lasson received an at-large bid to showcase her skills in the pole vault — also a first in program history.

“We’re feeling great,” said Zarpentine. “Districts can be really stressful and now we get to go celebrate. To us, state is a time to have fun, run against the best competition in the state, and celebrate our athletes who will compete and those who helped us get here.”

Teton leaves for Middleton High School on May 16. Field events will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 17 in Boise.

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