(Photo by Alan Versaw)
Tomorrow the AZ Indoor Classic will be held at the NAU Skydome, giving Arizona athletes from around the State the opportunity to compete in an Indoor venue. While many most other runners, jumpers, and throwers are well into their indoor season, Arizona doesn't have indoor competitions sanctioned by the interscholatic governing body. Instead of waiting patiently for the first meet of the outdoor season, many Arizona athletes will compete in Flagstaff testing themselves against some of their strongest rivals. For some this will be their first time on an indoor track and a lesson on the little differences between an indoor and outdoor track meet.
The Skydome will feature sprinting events of 55, 200 and 400 meters. Senior La Meyah Charlton of Chandler was 3rd in the 200 meter dash last year at the AIA Division I State Championships.There she ran a personal best time of 25.11 and holds a personal best of 57.14. She will be competing against Jae'Nisa Heckstall (Westview, Jr.) who finished 4th at State last year in the 100 meter dash and intermediate hurdles. Also racing in the teammate Zaire Chest (Jr.) ran 12.31 for 100 meters and 25.59 for 200 meters as a sophomore last year.
This meet is also set to attract athletes from out of state. Nevada distance superstars Matthew Candelaria (Coronado, Sr.) and Frankie Bisacky (Durango, Sr.) will be in attendance and are set for the 1500 and 3000 meters. Both have run 4:34 for 1600 meters and will test their fitness at altitude. Also in the mix for Arizona is Evan Balizado (Jr.) of Chandler Prep, holding a PR of 4:42 for 1600 meters. He will also be racing the 800 meters tomorrow.
On the Girls side for the distance races we'll see Makennah Mills (Prescott, Jr.) and Allyson Arellano (Mingus Union, Sr.) toe the line in the 800 and the 1500 meters. Makennah has run 5:18 for 1600 and finished 10th in the 1600 meters at D2 State Champs last year.
Desert Edge's Tyson Jones (Sr.) is set to return as the Shot Put after tossing 60-4 at the 2016 Division 2 State Championships. Sebastian Coleman (Desert Ridge, Sr.) will also make the trek to Northern Arizona. Last year he was 7th for Division 1 Discus. He currently holds PBs of 167-5 for Disc and 49-1 for Shot Put. Marcos Figueroa (Desert Vista, Jr.) will be another name to watch this year. Last year as a sophomore Figueroa earned 10th place in Division 1 Discus with a personal best of 148-5.
Here in Flagstaff we will also see Kayleigh Conlon (Mt. Pointe) return as 'Queen of the Throws' for her Senior season. Conlon currently holds a lifetime best of 45' 8" for shot. Desert Vista Sophomore Zamaree Blevins is also ready for the challenge at NAU. Blevins threw a personal best 107-6 last year and earned 11th at the Division 1 State Championships.
Finally the jumps will showcase two of Chandler's long-jumping triple threat: Juniors Jai Gruenwald and Diamond Black. Jai leapt out of the charts last year with a jump of 19' 1.25" at State and then went on to Great Southwest to further that with a mark of 19-5.5. Her teammate Diamond took 3rd place that day with a personal best of 17-11.5.Best of luck to all those competing at the Skydome tomorrow for what will for many be the opening to the 2017 track season.