(Photo by Harold Smith)
Tomorrow will be the 14th Annual Hohokam Invitational held at Westwood High School, and for many teams this will likely be the final invitational before their City/District Championships. Hohokam has seen records fall and state leading times set by top athletes across the State and the expectation is just as high this year, as athletes reach peak physical condition. Here's a look at some of the can't miss athletes and events.
All four of the fastest Hurdles races will feature at least half of the top-ten in the State. Raymond S. Kellis' two hurdling aces Brandon McGuire (Sr.) and Jae'nisa Heckstall (Jr.) are both coming off major AZ #1 performances at Sun Angel Classic this past weekend with Brandon dominating the 300s on Thursday in 37.04, and Jae'Nisa blazing a 14.10 to claim a new Meet Record for the 100s. While McGuire set a meet record of 37.72 last year his closest ranked competitor will be Westwood's James Smith (Jr.), who took 2nd in both the Highs and Intermediate Hurdles last week. Though Jae'Nisa will be the heavy favorite in the 100 Hurdles, she will later run the 300s with Chandler's Jai Gruenwald and LaMeyah Charlton, who are ranked 1st and 3rd.
In the Boys 1600, Hamilton's David Nelsen (Jr.) is entered with the top seeded time of 4:22, which is only 2 seconds off of Logan Woolf's (Highland) meet record from 2013. Also entered are Desert Vista's Aksel Laudon (Jr.) and Reece Donihi (Jr.). Aksel is coming off running a junior class record of 9:27 for the Thunder at Arcadia. The Lady Thunder also seem to have their eyes set on dominating the 1600 with Kelly Harris (Jr.), Mandy Davis (Sr.) and Maddi Bucci (Sr.) entered as the top seeds with times of 5:08, 5:15, and 5:20 from this season.
Kaleigh Conlon (Mountain Pointe, Sr.) is entered in both the Shot Put and the Discus Throw, and while she is currently tied for 3rd in the AZ All-Time ranks for Shot Put, she has stated that she wants to graduate with the state record in hand. The next furthest mark entered is from super-sophomore Alaina Diggs (Millennium) who threw 40-3 at Chandler Rotary and has won the Shot in her last three meets, most recently the Sun Angel Classic. Tim Fitzgerald (American Leadership, Sr.) will be looking to take the win on the guys' side of SP. Tim took 4th in the Shot at Chandler Rotary with a toss of 56-10.5. Mountain Pointe's own super-sophomore Matthew Pola Mao, will also contend for victory less than a week since throwing 54-4 at Arcadia.