Outdoor Track & Field Preview: The State of Arizona Sprints

Trinity Henderson won the Division I 100 meters in 2019. Can she repeat this year?

Admittedly, a lot of folks watch track for the sprints and not much more. Those folks might be missing out on something, but they aren't likely to leave Arizona track meets disappointed this spring. The Grand Canyon State figures to be deep this spring in sprints, and that would include both boys and girls.

For the girls, if you can remember back to the Division I state meet of almost two years ago, Chandler took the top two places. Nothing surprising there. What was surprising, however, is that those top two places went to two freshmen--Trinity Henderson and Jocelyn Johnson. Henderson and Johnson are juniors now and pencil in as your favorites for this year. That doesn't mean they end up 1 and 2 again this year, but they definitely figure in the hunt.


One tantalizing possibility for the crown of Arizona's fastest female sprinter this spring won't come from Division I, where Henderson and Johnson hold court. In a very abbreviated spring last year, the fastest girls 100 time came from Sabatiney Onyepunuka of Agua Fria. Onyepunuka was a freshman last spring, and many eyes are intrigued to see what she can accomplish this spring. As a caution, however, we should note that her 12.28 clocking from early last spring was an NWI mark. She's clearly fast, we just don't know precisely how fast yet.

Speaking of longer sprinters, Chaparral's Neya Jamison posted a 56.44 (FAT, according to the results) 400 last spring. Jamison's background shouts "Hurdles!" but you have to wonder if that 400 doesn't come back for another visit before the coming season is over.

Among small-school sprinters, Coconino's Cathron Donaldson very nearly broke a minute in the 400 in her lone attempt last spring. She was back this fall running some very nice cross country times, so it's a good bet she can make it to the finish line without running out of gas. Watch for more 400s from her this spring. 


It's difficult to know, with so little data in the last 22 months, who else to have on your watch list from this spring, but these names definitely are worth a quick mention: Lainey Jones (Highland), Alyssa Colbert (Williams Field), Gifty Doeplah (Shadow Mountain), Eva Bruce (Sabino), Morgan Lewis (Casteel), Clarke Johnson (Pusch Ridge), Ella Escobar (Liberty), and Sierra Dotty (Desert Vista).

The picture is subject to much more conjecture on the boys side. Male sprinters develop later than female sprinters. Most of the guys who end up as big-time sprinters by their junior and senior years were on the radar screen as freshmen, but it's not always easy to tell what's going to happen over the next two or three years. Some plateau and some keep climbing.

With that as a disclaimer, we'll proceed with caution here.

One we don't figure to have to wait on to see what's coming is Safford's CJ Scrivner. Scrivner will be a senior this spring, and his 10.40 mark from last spring is an outlier on his record, but he clearly has a capable set of wheels. 


Chandler's Tyson Tippett, also a senior this spring, is another known quantity. Tippett was fourth at state in the 100 in 2019 with a 10.80. There's no question but what he figures among your top sprinters this spring. Sophomore teammate Andereya Nsubuga has shown some flashes of promise as well.

Quaron Adams, also of Chandler, won the 2019 Division I 100-meter dash--evidently as a freshman (there is some slight ambiguity in the results data on that front). He won it going away. But, he has not shown up in any results--anywhere--since then. Assuming he's back this year, it makes sense to pencil him in as the favorite. Adams, by the way, also finished second in the 2019 state 200.

Kesean Dansby of Cesar Chavez was a sophomore in 2019 and placed in both the 100 and 200. That automatically qualifies as a member of the watchlist with no contravening evidence emerging in the interim.

In the longer sprints, Desert Vista's Luke Stalus and Hamilton's Christian Anaya are the lone returning members of the 2019 placing field in the Division I 400-meter dash. Look for those names to pop up again this spring. 

In Division II, however, Brian Fair of South Mountain and Donovan Castillo of Horizon returns with 400 times superior to what Stalus and Anaya put up at state. Castillo backed his state meet performance up with a handful of impressive runs in available 2020 meets as well. Fair also has at least one nice 400 mark from 2020. One of the two figures to win the Division II 400 this spring. 

Other names to save a place for on your radar screen include Mason Davies (Saguaro), Leo Bond (Tempe), Andrew Patterson (Desert Edge), Jaeyden Carpenter (Millennium), Zach Weinman (Desert Vista), Payton Barlow (Queen Creek), and Isaiah Newcombe (Casteel). To be sure, there will be others, but those needles in the haystack have not yet been found.