Anaya Bailey (Top Left), Anna Foreman (Top Right), LaMeyah Charlton (Bottom Left), Armani Harris (Bottom Right)
While Stadiums are exceptional for meets like Chandler Rotary and State, the Track and Field program at Brophy puts on their AMDG Invitational with the ability to give spectators a more personal experience. The bleachers are significantly smaller but they allow the audience to see the events up close and from the athlete's perspective, the cheers from a group of even a thousand people around the Track adds to the intensity per race. While small, Brophy AMDG packed several punches felt round the State.
The Invitational opened with the Girls 4x800, where Chandler and Hamilton cut loose through legs 1 and 2, but with each transition the lady wolves opened the gap further until Morgan Foster (So.) delivered the baton across the finish in 9:39 for Chandler. The Xavier Gators finished 2nd with a 9:50 for their debut race. On the boys' side of the 4x800, Brophy and Chandler's teams broke away after the first handoff and pushed and pulling away from each other through the final stretch where Chandler's Ethan Gaiser (Sr.) overtook Brophy's Luke Mason (Sr.) in 8:13 to 8:14.
Meanwhile in the field events the bright new star out of North Canyon HS, Jadyn Mays lept onto a US #2 spot for Girls' Long Jump reaching 19 feet, 5 inches. Mountain Pointe's Nura Muhammad (Sr.) took 2nd with 18' 07.75" for a US #3 mark.
Morgan Foster returned to claim victory in the Girls' 800, running a blistering 62 seconds through the 1st lap with Melanie Loff (Jr.) of the Hamilton Huskies. Foster powered through for 2:10 while Loff held on for 2nd in 2:14, ahead of Dominique Mustin (Fr.) and Makyah Richard (So.) taking 3rd and 4th for the North Canyon Rattlers.
North Canyon's Tyrees Moulton (Jr.) dominated the Boys 400 in 47.66 seconds, the first performance under 48 this year. In the Girls 400, LaMeyah Charlton (Sr.) led her Chandler teammate Anna Foreman (Jr.) for 350 meters, before Foreman pushed through for the win, while Hamilton's Morgan Parzych (Jr.) held on for 3rd, all three finishing under 57 seconds.
In the Girls 100, Jadyn Mays shot through the field and under the 12 second barrier by a hair. Anaya Bailey (Chandler, Sr.) ran 12.19 for 2nd place, and led her freshman teammates Jayde Charlton and Armani Harris under the automatic qualifying standard for State, in 12.20 and 12.39, respectively.
Austin Jackson (North Canyon, Sr.) and Kayleigh Conlon (Mountain Pointe, Sr.) conquered the Discus Throw with other-worldly performances that toppled the previous meet records for boys and girls. Jackson threw 184' 04", and out of the entire field, only Sebastian Coleman (Desert Ridge, Sr.) threw anywhere near Jackson, with a mark of 177' 09. Conlon's victory was even greater as she flung the fiberglass saucer to 150' 02", cementing her victory by almost 19 feet.
For the 1600 meter runs, spectators were encouraged to cheer next to the athletes. Hamilton's David Nelsen made an early charge into the lead of the second race, but was reeled in by Drew Burns (Brophy, Jr.). Then Luke Mason took control, moving through halfway in 2:16. Over the 3rd lap, Nelsen broke through to cut the pace down and eventually blazed a 60 second final lap for a 4:22 finish. Mason took 2nd in 4:28, ahead of Nathan Fockler (Greenway, Sr.) and Reier Gilbertson (Mountain Ridge, Jr.) both in 4:30.
Xavier's Sarah Carter (Sr.) wasted no time in asserting her lead in Heat 2 of Girls' 1600. Though Chandler Wolves Becca Taylor (So.) and Kerri Welch (Jr.) kept her within sight, there was no backing down for Carter in her first 1600 of the year as she laid down a 5:01. Becca Taylor clocked in at 5:15 and Mountain Ridge's Taylor Mollenhour (So.) took 3rd in 5:19.
In the Boys 4x400 Apollo High School, the Division 2 State Champs from last year, emerged from among the pack to gap the field and with one leg to go only Chandler would respond as they went around the north curb. At the top of the homestretch, Chandler's Ta'Mir Waters (Jr.) made a final attempt to close the distance, but could not overtake Roderick Lockett (Sr.) of the Apollo Hawks.
It was however, the Chandler Girls 4x400 squad that shut the door on the Brophy AMDG Invitational with 4 blue streak, sub-60 second legs from Armani Harris, Anna Foreman, Anaya Bailey, and LaMeyah Charlton that unexpectedly recorded the fastest 4x400 meter relay performance in Arizona history. When asked about their 3:48 record Anna Foreman said, "Getting the State record was just an extra little thing we happened to do." Bailey explained that the result came from their objective to, "Do what we do in practice."
This is only the third week of the outdoor season and already we have seen people demolishing school records and as the fields get more competitive we can expect to see athletes reaching deeper and carving out more performances and rewriting the AZ history books.