Zoe Rich from Glendale Prep Academy will be one of the top Division 4 girl sprinters in 2021. Last season, Rich ran a 1:01.19 in the 400m dash and 27.37 in the 200m and after a long offseason, Rich is primed to break out and drop her times even more. Early in the season, Rich sits first in the 400m dash and second in the 200m dash.
Grace Tipton from North Phoenix Prep will be the runner to beat in Division 4 for the distance races. Tipton is one of the most experienced distance runners in the state and has an edge on most of the Division 4 field in the distance events. Tipton currently holds the fastest 1600m and 3200m times in Division 4, running a 5:07.19 in the 1600m and 11:40.45 in the 3200m. Tipton is in position to possibly win her first state championship in two different events.
Kayla O'Connell from Morenci Jr./Sr. High School will be another distance runner to watch. O'Connell is the 2020 cross country state champion and will be Tipton's biggest threat to winning the distance state championship events this spring.
Kylee Dodge from Thatcher enters the season the top returning hurdler, already holding the fastest times in both the 100m and 300m hurdle events. Dodge holds valuable experience in the events too, finishing fifth in the 300m hurdles at the AIA State Championship meet in 2019. Dodge finished ninth in the 100m hurdles that year as well.
Sitting right behind Dodge, Sydney Sventek from Northland Preparatory holds the second place times in the two hurdle events. Sventek finished ahead of Dodge at the AIA State Championship in the 100m hurdles in 2019, where she raced to a second-place finish, which adds intrigue to the event in 2021.
Valley Christian High School will be a force to be reckoned with in the sprinting relay events in 2021. Having already run the fastest times in the 4x100m and 4x400m relay events this season, Valley Christian will look to improve upon their finishes in 2019, which included a sixth-place finish in the state championship meet.