Three Footlocker finalists toed the line Thursday evening at the 5A-I State Championships. Nadya (pictured middle left) and Nastia Bishton (pictured middle right) (seniors, Mt. Ridge) and Jessica Tonn (pictured left) (sophomore, Xavier) pushed the pace right from the start.....they were there to race. By the time the three of them crossed the 200 mark they had already separated themselves from the rest of the field crossing the half way mark in 5:09. With one lap to go an offcial held up the 2 lap sign by mistake causing a few moments of confussion and the crowd to jump to their feet. Tonn won the race with a time of 10:30.55 breaking the sophomore state record of 10:33.11 set by Sarah Gordon in 1998 and winning her second 3200 state championship. Nadya Bishton finished second in 10:31.97 while Nastia finished in 10:35.42. A late surge by junior and Xavier teammate Sarah Penney (pictured far right) put her in fourth place.
US#2, John Kline from Desert Vista, who broke the all time Arizona state record in the 800 almost four weeks ago, missed the 800 race at regionals automatically putting him in the slower of the two 800 heats at the State Meet. Still recovering from his 48.84 400m run an hour earlier, Kline set his own pace and ran an impressive time of 1:52.52.
Meanwhile, the boys mile race was packed with sub 4:30 runners including defending State Champ Nathan Mesta from Tucson Magnet. The runners kept in a tight pack the first two laps of the race with the lead shifting four or five times. With 100m left in the third lap, a collision in the middle of the pack tripped up a few runners and brought top seed Matt Boughton down on the track. Boughton was able to get up and run but the fall and the loss of momentum kept him from catching the leaders. Mesta took the lead in the final stretch of the race and it looked like he had the win when a final push by Mesa Mountain View's D.J. Johnson edged out Mesta 4:19.60 to 4:19.77.
Brandon Bear from Mesa Mountain View won the boys Pole Vault after Clint Robison (photo below) from Salpointe made a bold move and opted out of the 15-9 jump. Cory Kraft from Desert Vista and Bear missed all three of the 15-9 jumps and Robison needed to make the jump at 16-0 to win the event. Everyone held their breath and watched as Robison looked like he had cleared the bar on his last attempt. The bar warbled and fell. All three vaulters made the 15-6 jumps, however Bear made it in fewer attempts giving him the State Title. Robinson came in second and Kraft third.
Other 5A-I Finals
Nationally ranked Long Jumper Bryce Lamb, a junior from Chandler, jumped 23-11.25 to Mesa's Keelan Johnson's 23-6.0 and Will Claye's (Jr. Mountain Pointe) 23-5.0.
Desert Vista's Steven Figueroa (Sr.) won the Shot Put event by more than seven feet when he threw a distance of 58-10.75. Jose Bellorin (Sr. Mesa) came in second at 51-08.00 and Chris Figueroa (Sr. Desert Vista) was third with 51-06.75.
Senior Sierra Meyer from Gilbert took the High Jump title with a jump of 5-05.00 beating Westwood's junior Samantha Collins 5-03.00 jump.
Discus thrower Hannah Carson, a freshman from Dobson, won the event by nearly 6 feet when she threw the discuss 125-7.
Senior Mischa Carson from Chandler jumped 38-00.5 in the triple jump for the win over junior Samantha Collins from Westwood who jumped 36-11.00.
Xavier won the girls 4x800 when anchor Sarah Penney ran a sub 2:13 leg taking the team from 5th place to 1st.