We continue our previews of the AIA Track and Field State Championships with the distance running events set for tomorrow. We'll see a lot of returning State Champions eager to finish their careers with one or more State Titles along with some challengers looking to pull off an upset. Check out our rundown of the distance running events.
Boys 4x800m Relay
The D2 Boys 4x800m will be the first running event of the day, and the Campo Verde Boys are determined to secure the State Title that's eluded them for the past two years. Stubbs has run 1:55.48 this season and his teammate Luke Nicolds (Sr.) crashed the scene as a stellar mid-distance athlete in his own right with a 1:56.01 lifetime best from Sun Angel. Will they be enough for the distance Coyotes to finally clinch a D2 State Title or will the Casteel Colts and/or the Desert Mountain Wolves pull off the upset this year?
Then in the Division I race, the Highland Boys would like to push well under their 7:50 mark from last year which won them the State Title. Both Sam Green and Ernest Green would be capable of anchoring any 4x800 Relay team in the State. Meanwhile, Leo Daschbach (Jr.) will give it all he's got as an anchor for any relay he's in and with the Greens backing him up, we're definitely in for a treat today.
Beginning the individual distance events is the Girls' 1600m with Grace Driskill (Rincon University, Jr.) Hana Hall (Flagstaff, Jr.) as the two favorites. Neither of them has run sub-5 this season but could this be the day to do it?
The D1Girl's race looks a little like a rematch of the Division I Cross Country State Championship from last fall. Chandler's ace Morgan Foster (Sr.) is entered in both the 1600m and the 800m later that day. She'll have Caroline McLeskey (Highland, Jr.) and Abi Archer (Chaparral, Sr.) chasing her down but we've got our doubts about whether she'll push herself to the well, like at Chandler Rotary when she soloed a sub 4:50 mile.
We'll also get to see the current and previous State Record holders for the Girls' 800-meter run, but the question remains if they will both shoot for State Records. Dominique Mustin (North Canyon, Jr.) is a true competitor and is prepared to bring the fire in every event she runs including the Girls 800 for the D2 Girls' State Title, and Morgan Foster will seek to close out her career with a second individual D1 State Title in her signature event.
While Stubbs has powered through for victory in every one of his races in Arizona except for the Chandler Rotary. Today he'll anchor the CV Coyotes' 4x800 and then return to the 3200m. Stubbs soloed the fastest time among D2 Boys for the 3200m, but what we're eager to see if Randy Espinoza (Deer Valley, So.) and Braedon Palmer (Sunrise Mountain, Jr.) can give him a run for his money.
The D1 Boys' 3200m will conclude the distance finals of Day 1 at Riggs Stadium with Leo Daschbach (Highland, Jr.) as the overwhelming favorite. As a sophomore, Daschbach won two individual State Titles in Cross-Country and on the Track. Most recently, he's run 8:51.09 for 3200m at the Arcadia Invitational. It'll be interesting to see if Lee Nasewytewa (Desert Vista, Sr.) can hang with a wicked fast pace by Daschbach over eight laps.