Despite the cancellation of the 2020 outdoor track season, several of the top Division 4 boys from the 2020 season return to compete in 2021, with their eyes set on winning a state championship.
Jacob Holguin from Arizona Lutheran Academy is one of the top sprinters in the state to watch in 2021. Already having clocked a 10.85 in the 100m dash, Holguin will be the athlete to beat in the event. Holguin finished 3rd in the event at the 2019 AIA State Championship meet his freshman year, which will provide him with the experience to compete at a high level at the state meet.
The distance crew from North Phoenix Prep is preparing for a big year in many of the distance events in 2021. Richie Johnston, the 2020 cross country state champion, currently holds the fastest 800m in Division 4 and his impressive sub-2-minute performance is sure to add him to the state championship in the event.
Sammy Johnston will also compete for a state title in one of the distance events at the AIA State championship this spring. After finishing 3rd at the 2020 cross country state championship meet, Johnston has since asserted himself as the fastest 1600m runner in Division 4 and will be a tough runner to beat in the latter portion of the season.
Aidan Daly from Chandler Preparatory Academy enters the 2021 season as one of the top hurdlers in Division 4. In 2019, Daly made the AIA State Championship in both hurdle events, in addition to the 100m dash, and finished 7th in the 300m hurdles. Daly has the speed and experience to potentially win both hurdle events at the state championship.
Nolan Kemper from Chandler Preparatory Academy will be a major player in the jumps events this season. Already holding the furthest jump in the triple jump this season, Kemper also sits third in the long jump. Kemper, a sophomore, will be searching to qualify for his first state championship meet this season and could very well win a state title in his first appearance.
Christian Mutengela from Morenci Jr./Sr. High School, which holds the furthest jump in the long jump so far this season, will be another name to watch as the season unfolds. Having already competed in the AIA State Championship meet his freshman year and placing fifth, Mutengela holds valuable experience over Kemper.