So, with just a couple weekends of meets in the books so far, we'll take a look here at the best of the best--so far--of the Arizona girls performances. We will be considering only marks recorded in the official AIA season and, specifically, not marks recorded at the Sundown Series of Meets.
Let's start with throws this time around. In the shot put, and very much as expected, the Makaylas are 10 feet out ahead of everyone else. At this early stage of the season, Makayla Hunter (Chandler) has gone deep to the tune of 48-4.25. Makayla Long (Perry) is a little less than two feet back at 46-9. The biggest surprise of the season will be if anyone threatens either of these two for a top-two position in the state.
It's not much different at the discus ring, though the order does reverse itself. This time, it's Long on top with an early mark of 154-2 and Hunter solidly in second at 144-0. Next up is more than 20 feet back. That will change some as the season progresses, but it is not at all a given that the gap, even as it stands now, can be bridged.
Things look a little different on the javelin runway, however. Hunter is at the top with a mark of 147-6, so far, but it's who's in second that's creating a little bit of a ripple. Basha freshman and softball player Gabriella Garcia opened with a toss of 140-3. Ladies and gentlemen, we may have a contest on our hands. So far, Uzuri Graves (Chandler) is the only other one beyond 120.
Often, we see a lot of rust when the high jump opens, but it hasn't opened with much rust so far. Kylie Bishop (ALA Queens Creek) leads the field, but only barely, at 5-5. Chloe Bingham (Queen Creek) and Avery Clark (Perry) are right behind at 5-4. That's an excellent start on a great high jump season.
Catherine Littlewood (Queen Creek) is way out in front of the long jump pack at a wind-legal 18-10. A little more than a foot back is a massive pack of jumpers just waiting for someone to break free and chase Littlewood. Undoubtedly, Littlewood will get some chase as the season develops, but it hasn't materialized yet.
The triple jump has a clear leader in Reagan Olson (Snowflake), but 37-8 doesn't figure to stand as the top mark for long. A couple feet back, but in the case, are Sheena Cumberbatch (Chandler) and Viann Vanderwall (Queen Creek). Look for this race to heat up as more and more triple jumpers add polish to their technique.
That wraps up the field events, so let's head on over to the track for the best of the hurdle action.
The 300 hurdles have a top three that includes two who were very much on the radar screen and one who is bent on introducing herself to the rest of the state. Joy Moorer (North Canyon) has the top time so far at 44.91. Not far behind, though, are Erykah Garrett (Chandler) and Saira Prince (Williams Field).
At the 100 meter distance for hurdles, Rahni Turner (Westwood) holds a rather expected lead at 14.42. Prince ran 14.66 in her first outing, though that mark was wind-aided. Still, 14.66 is fast. Also below 15 are Garrett (wind-legal) and Ella Escobar (North Canyon, wind-aided). Checking the next tier of hurdlers, prospects look good for a whole lot of sub-15s this year. Stay tuned.
It's just a tiny bit surprising we don't have any sub-12 100s yet, given the general trend of things in the girls 100, but we do have four at 12.16 or better and lots of season left. Leading the pack right now is Escobar (12.00), Trinity Henderson (Chandler, 12.08), Alyssa Colbert (Williams Field, 12.09), and Eryn Garrett (Chandler, 12.16).
Jocelyn Johnson (Chandler) is the only one for far under 25 for the 200. She's at 24.95. In the lower half of the 25s, however, are Lainey Jones (Highland) and Colbert. So far, though, there are a lot of expected names still not showing in 200 results, so we expect these standings to tighten up some in the near term.
Escobar's 56.30 is way out in front of the 400 field. Interestingly, next up is Escobar's teammate, Riley Patera. They've been working on their 400s at North Canyon. I suspect, but I'm not certain, that Patera recently moved in from Oregon. To date, nobody else is below 58 seconds, but that will change. Highland's Madison Burciaga of Hamilton has the next best at 58.19
Katie Sigerud and Lauren Ping sent a message about the 800 at the Aztec Invitational last weekend. A 2:13 and a 2:14 will do that. Burciaga (Hamilton) ran a 2:20, which is a respectable early-season time, but it leaves a lot of ground to make up on the Desert Vista duo.
Emma Baugh (Highland), Sara Jones (Perry), and Ava Potts (Chandler) are all 5:15 or 5:16. While those are excellent times, we're still waiting on the appearance of a few big names in the 1600. When that happens, we're likely to see some shuffling of the top names.
It's a very similar story at 3200 meters. Jadyn Herron-Jonap (Casteel) has the top time so far at 11:37, but there isn't anyone distance-savvy in Arizona who's betting on that time standing. Watch that time start ticking its way down quickly as more and more of Arizona's top distance runners start trying out their wheels at 3200 meters. In fairness to Herron-Jonap, this is a race where times routinely drop when we see stiff competition. Why spend the effort to run an 11-even if the next person in the field is 11:25? A few people can do that, but most top distance runners rely on others to help push them along.
You are welcome to take a look at the complete rankings for any of these events. I've linked the leaderboard at both the top and bottom of this article.
Also, as a heads-up about what's coming next week, I won't be taking the gigantic overall view as I have with this article. Next week, I'll pick an event area and dive a little deeper. For now, though, we don't have enough data to justify the deep dives. So, come back next week!