Desert Vista Last Chance Meet Recap


     (Boys 4x800-Photo by Harold Smith)

On Wednesday April 26th, Desert Vista hosted the Last Chance meet for over 60 schools hoping to squeeze out some final marks in hopes of earning an invitation to compete at State Champs next week.

The meet began with the Boys 4x800, where the lead went back-and-forth between McClintock's and Desert Ridge's corresponding legs with Mountain Pointe. Over the final lap it became anyone's game as the top seven teams bunched into position for an ideal kick, with Anthony Haren (Jr.) of Perry in the lead. As they went around the south curb, Desert Ridge anchor Alexander Witthus (Jr.) shot around Haren to cross the finish in 8:14.15, while Mountain Pointe's Devin Hasty snuck into 2nd place in 8:15.30 for the Pride to 8:15.52 for the Perry Pumas.

In the Boys 100, Christopher Russel (Cesar Chavez, Jr.) dipped under 11 seconds to take the victory in the 100-meter dash in 10.93. He later returned to win the Boys 200 in 22.17. On the Girl's side, Valley Vista's Denajah Morris won the 100-meter dash in 12.20, over Mia Corners (Gila Ridge) and Monsoon teammate Dorian Nesby.

                             (Boys 1600-Photo by Harold Smith)

Spectators were treated to several wire-to-wire finishes in the distance races as well. First Rylan Stubbs (Campo Verde) and Aksel Laudon (Desert Vista) blasted wicked PRs with Stubbs outkicking Laudon in 4:22.09 to 4:22.71! Then in the final heat of the boys 800 Thomas Cain (Cibola) challenged Cody Hartman (Gila Ridge) in the final 200 and though Hartman made a final push to beat Cain down the homestretch, they both clocked in with AZ top-10 times for 800 (#6 and #10, respectively). In the Girls 3200 that night, Maddi Bucci (Desert Vista) broke through to take control of the race at the halfway point and held a solid lead through seven laps, but was overtaken in the closing meters by Chandler Prep's Olivia Mountain with a surprise kick.

Alena Ellsworth blasted a 24.86 in the Girls 200 to win by almost a second. Mia Corners (Gila Ridge) took 2nd in 25.66 and Alyssia Gonzalez (Perry) finished in 25.71. Ellsworth's 200 time is now ranked as #9 in the State and the third of her performances to put her name among the State's top-ten, along with her 54.68 400-meter time (AZ #1) and her 2:11.29 for 800 meters (AZ #3).

In the Boys 4x400, Campo Verde and Desert Ridge broke away early with Skyline in hot pursuit. As they entered the 4th leg, Campo Verde led Skyline and Desert Ridge. This time Caden Bethel (Jr.) was the anchor for the squad and just as teammate Witthus had executed that afternoon he shot around the southern bend to pass both Skyline and Campo Verde to deliver the baton in 3:24.92.

Finally, the biggest surprise of the night came when the State record for Pole Vault of 17' 4.25", set by Nick Hysong (Tolleson) in 1990, was broken by Valley Vista's Cole Riddle (Sr.) who cleared 17' 05". These days Cole is now under the tutelage of Hysong at Valley Vista in Surprise, Arizona.


This meet was full of last minute wire-to-wire performances that allowed many athletes to find out just how fit they were for next week's State Championships. We'll find out this weekend which athletes have earned their ticket to State Championships, but until then best of luck to all athletes and Coaches keeping their thumbs crossed.

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