(T.J. Green edges out Trey Johnson in the 110 Hurdles-photo by Harold Smith)
Day 3 of the AIA State Championships concluded
the State meet with several nail-biting finishes and quite a few underdog performances.
Last year Sierra Valdivieso (Skyline) won the Division II Discus. This year as she and her team competed in Division I, Valdivieso launched the Discus 140' to win the DI contest, while AZ #1 Elijah Mason (Desert Vista, Sr.) tossed 61-01.5, almost 9 feet ahead of runner-up and DV teammate Deshon Toney (Jr.).
In the Girls Long Jump, Chandler Wolves Jai Gruenwald (Jr.) and Tiana Poirier-Shelton (Sr.) took podium finishes once again. This time Jai won with a Jump of 19-10.25, while Tiana earned third place in 19-03. In the Boys Triple Jump, Pinnacle's Max Barrett (Sr.) came out of the nowhere to jump a massive PR and school record mark of 47-03.25 to snatch the victory. Finally, Highland's Cierra Tidwell (Highland) cleared 5-06 win the High Jump.
(Max Barrett take 1st, Ivan Hinson 2nd, and Ben Novak 4th; not pictured Imani Lee 3rd)
T.J. Green (Chandler, Sr.) & Trey Johnson (Tolleson, Sr.) went neck and neck through a -3.6 headwind, down to the finish in which Green won the title by a hundredth of a second. Chandler's Edwin Adams (Sr.) finished 3rd in the Highs and later won the Intermediates, with Elisha Brooks (Brophy) taking 2nd and James Smith (Westwood) all finishing within a half-second of one another. Jai Gruenwald (Jr.) doubled down to secure victories in both the 100 and the 300 Hurdles. First she won the highs in 15.03 facing a -5.3 headwind. Then she ran 44.17 in the lows to win by over 2 ½ seconds!
Tolleson's Trey Johnson returned for victory in the 100, running 10.96 through an even heavier -4.6 headwind. In the 400 Morgan Parzych (Hamilton) cranked out 56.03 to win D1 Girls 400 meters, the fastest time of the day among girls. Anaya Bailey snagged the 100 and the 200 State Titles running 12.23 in a -4.3 headwind and then 26.20 in a -5.9 for 200.
Hociel Landa (Brophy) led the Division I 1600 from the front. David Nelson (Hamilton) took control after halfway until 200 to go. He and Landa hammered down the homestretch, until Landa managed to outkick Nelsen in 4:27.51 to 4:27.62. In the 2nd heat of the Boys 800, Daniel Lozano (Boulder Creek) made a huge break with 300 meters to go and captured his 2nd straight 800 State Title in a time of 1:58.66. For the Girls 3200, Haley Wolf (Desert Vista) drafted off Sarah Carter (Xavier) and Jess Bries (O'Connor) until the final lap when she broke away to win her first individual Track and Field in 10:52.58.
Earlier Saturday afternoon, Chandler Boys took 1st in the 4x400 running a new AZ #1 of 41.03. The Mountain Pointe Pride ran 41.47 to place 2nd and Red Mountain finished 3rd in 41.67, also a season best for the Lions.
Ryan Bender capped off the Boys Division I Championship, anchoring his Desert Vista Boys 4x400 squad to the final Boys Title in 3:21.09, the fastest 4x400 time of the night. The Chandler Girls shut it down in the 4x400, blasting 3:52.12. The Hamilton Lady Huskies finished 2nd in 3:58.87 followed by Xavier in 4:01.63.
TeamsAt the end of the day, the relentless wind could not stop the onslaught of Chandler blue podium crashers which sealed the deal for both the Wolves' girl and boy teams. Chandler Boys beat Desert Vista for the team title by only 2 points with 100 to 98. On the Girls' side, Chandler accumulated a grand total of 187 to win the Girls team title by over 100 points.