The Aztec invitational held on March 3rd started with a moment of silence to pay tribute to Corona del Sol pole vaulter Mitchell Warnock who passed away last October. Many athletes and coaches wore an orange ribbon in his honor. Warnock who was the top returning pole-vaulter in the state, set a personal record of 15-7 last spring.
(photo Trake Williams of Red Mountain and his coach wearing their orange ribbons for Warnock)
The Aztec Invitational did not disappoint its spectators as many throwers, jumpers, vaulters, and runners gave their best efforts. The meet started with Brophy dominating the 2 mile with a 1-2 finish, led by Luke Mason (9:34.13) and teammate Hociel Landa (9:35.79). In the 100 meter hurdles Chandler's Jai Gruenwald ran a blistering 15:09. Only three girls went under 16 seconds. In the 1600m Haley Wolf (Desert Vista) broke away early and won by by 22 seconds (5:00.62) breaking the Aztec Meet record previously set by Lauren Ellsworth of Highland (5:02.01) in 2014. (photo Haley Wolf winning the 1600m setting meet record)
A highlighted event was Highland's Devin Bowen (Sr.) who set his own personal record by 13 seconds (4:25.12). Bowen broke away from the pack that consisted of runners like Luke Mason (Brophy) and Don Angelo Piasecki (Desert Vista). Bowen stated with excitement after his race, " I decided to break away...I felt good and went for the win". In the 400 meters Chandler's Armani Harris only a freshman ran (57.74). Ta'mir Waters also from Chandler ran a (49.85) to win the the boys 400m race.
(photo Devin Bowen and Highland Boys celebrating his 1600m win)
In the 300m hurdles Chandler siblings Edwin Adams (38.82) and Adora Adams (46.75) easily won their events. Edwin also took first place in the 110 high hurdles (14.82). In the 4x100m relay the Mountain Pointe girls handled the competition running 48.19 seconds. Red Mountain boys claimed the 4x100m title with a time of 42.02 which set a new meet record. In the throws Mountain Pointe's senior Kayleigh Conlon dominated both the disc (135-05) and shot put (44-04). Conlon is currently ranked 1st in both events and has a chance at a state title in May. Mountain Pointe girls continued to capture points in the field events as new records were set in the jumps with Nura Muhammad winning the long (18-00.50) and tripple (38-11.25). On the boys side Josh Onwardi (Corona) jumped 6-04.00 in the high jump with Darrell Handy (Maricopa) finishing second. Desert Vista's Elijah Mason broke his own meet record (181'09) and threw 190'09 to win the discus. In the pole vault Trake Williams of Red Mountain claimed 1st place and easily cleared 15-00.00 feet. Desert Vista's Sevanna Hanson (1st) cleared 11-06 in the pole vault.
(photo Daniel Lozano of Boulder Creek and Tyrees Moulton of North Canyon)
The evening races provided excitement for the crowd as many saw Daniel Lozano of Boulder Creek run a 1:56.20 and Tyrees Moulton (North Canyon) 1:57.30 both breaking Nathan Rodriguez's 800m record (1:58.02). What is even more impressive is that Moulton won the 100m dash earlier that day with a time of (10.83). Renee Payne of Corona ran an impressive 2:14.37 to win the girls 800m. Records continued to fall as O'Connor's Jesselyn Bries (10:50.15) and Morgan Foster (10:52.98) of Chandler battled to the finish. Bries broke Alexis Nichols' (Chandler) record of 10:51.25 set in 2016. As the meet came to end the boys 4x400m relays came down to Desert Vista, Chandler, and Corona. As the anchors approached the last 100m Desert Vista (3:24.10) took the lead, however with less than 50 meters to go Corona (3:23.82) edged out Chandler (3:23.83) with less than a hundredth of second. All three teams shattered the meet record set by Chandler (3:25.14 ) in 2016.
The Desert Vista Boys and Chandler Girls took home the team trophies. With records being set early in the season expect great performances from Arizona athletes. We look forward to seeing more records fall this track season!