As we entered Day 1 of the AIA Track and Field State Champs we had an idea of who to look out for, though there was no telling how many nail-biting finishes these finals would deliver, as some of the most incredible performances in recent history.
The tournament began with the first Javelin competition held in an AZ State tournament since 1938. Division II's Marcus Naisant (Marcos De Niza, Jr.) threw the Javelin 197 feet to win the boys large school competition, while Maja Ahmann (Chaparral, Sr.) took 1st among DI and DII girls with 142-04.
Turner Washington (Canyon Del Oro, Sr.) broke the AZ All-Time Discus Record for the third time this year launching the Disc 218-07 feet! His Division I rival and friend Elijah Mason (Desert Vista, Sr.) snagged the DI Discus Title with a mark of 203-09, over 40 feet ahead of 2nd place.
On the Girls' side, Mountain Pointe's Kayleigh Conlon (Sr.) took home her second Shot Put State Title with a toss of 46-09! Afterward, Alexis Jones (Queen Creek, Jr.) won the DII Shot Put competition with a throw of 40-05.75.
Day 1 featured Division II Boys and Girls Pole Vault as well as Division I Girls Pole Vault. Chaparral's Marc Obadia (Sr.) won the DII Boys Pole Vault by six inches, clearing 14-06. Flowing Well's Katherine Daily (Sr.) won the Girls DII vault by 9 inches, and was the only girl in the DII competition to vault over 11 feet. O'Connor dark horse, Madelyn Lundberg (Sr.) won the Division I contest over Desert Vista's Sevanna Hanson (So.) and Corona's Josie Wright (Jr.).
Seniors Trey Johnson (Tolleson) and Shamar Moreland (Fairfax) both started their days off tripling down with State Titles in Division I and Division II Long Jump with marks of 24-05.75 and 23-09, respectively. Trey went on to win his Heats of 100 and 110 Hurdles in Division I, while Moreland clocked the fastest times of the prelims for DII High and Intermediate Hurdles.
Trey's teammate of the Tolleson Wolverines, Dallas Dixon took first for Division I High Jump. While in the DII High Jump, Cameron Crandall (Sr.) cleared 7 feet for a new school record for Canyon Del Oro.
DII 4x800 kicked things off for the distance events with Shadow Ridge taking the win in 7:57. Then in the final lap of the Division I Boys 4x800, Hamilton ran down Desert Vista with a furious kick from David Nelsen to deliver the baton and the team title.
The DII Girls 1600 started things of for the middle distances, with Chaparral sophomores Abi Archer and Rachel Turner finishing 1-2 in 5:04.75 and 5:07.62 for the Lady Firebirds. In the Division I Girls 1600, Sarah Carter (Xavier) led the 1600 from the gun until Morgan Foster (Chandler) took control of the race. "We negative split like crazy, but I around the 300 I felt like I could have a strong kick," said Foster. With 200 to go Morgan made her kick to hold Sarah at bay through the finish clocking 4:52.79 to Carter's 4:53.07! Morgan later returned to win the 800 in 2:12 over Seniors, Renee Payne (Corona) and Alena Ellsworth (Highland). In the DII 800, Alexa Hokanson (Cactus Shadows, Sr.) overtook North Canyon underclasswomen, Makyah Richard (So.) and Dominique Mustin (Fr.) for victory in 2:15. Hokanson also ran the fastest 400 meter of the Division II Girls prelims in 56.29.
In the DI Girls Triple Jump, Chandler's Tiana Poirier-Shelton (Sr.) and Jai Gruenwald (Jr.) went 1-3 for the Wolves with marks of 40-01.5 and 39-02 respectively. Mountain Pointe's Brittany Patterson took runner-up with 39-06. Marana's Mele Hala'ufia (Sr.) jumped a PR of 37-04.25 to win the DII Girls Triple Jump. Gila Ridge's Mia Corners (So.) earned silver with a jump of 36-05.75 and Kenasahlee Kerr (Queen Creek) also a sophomore took 3rd place with 36-03.5. Also on Day 1 of DII State Championships was the Girls Long Jump contest, in which North Canyon's superfrosh Jadyn Mays won her first State Title by jumping 19-01. Earlier she also qualified in the 100 with a PR of 11.88 and in the 200 with 24.54 both top preliminary times.
In the Boys 3200 races, Manny Olivo-Quiñones (Buena, Sr.) stated his final State Championship with a 9:16.36 PR in the Division II race. Rylan Stubbs (Campo Verde, So.) finished 2nd with 9:28.89 while Morgan Risch (Flowing Wells, Sr.) finished 3rd in 9:31.73. In D1 Cross Country State Champ Abdi Nur (North) led a strong pace of 4:45 for the first mile. Luke Mason (Brophy) took over the lead and made several moves throughout the last few laps attempting to secure the lead. At the last second Thomas Cain (Cibola) thrust himself over the finish to take the win by a single hundredth of a second in 9:23.58.
Congratulations to all who competed at John D. Riggs Stadium Wednesday and good luck to those who will return to compete this Saturday.