Yesterday, we took a look at the boys' throws. Today, it's back to the girls. Our event area of interest this time is the short sprints.
Once again, this article will focus primarily on teams--which teams are setting up to turn in the biggest state meet performances in May, based on what we see now.
As we did with boys' throws, we'll start with the smallest schools and work our way up.
Our analysis is complicated a bit so far by the fact that a large number of the likely candidates to be placing at state later this spring haven't yet run both events. Yet, most short sprinters eventually do run both the 100 and 200. And, unless they come from a school that can lock and load the relays, they will likely run both at state, and especially so at the Division 4 level.
Valley Christian currently has the #1 and #8 200s in the classification in Riley Brown and Emma Liberta. Brown's wind-legal 26.79 ranks a full second ahead of the best of the rest of the field. That should be sending shock waves of "Uh-oh" around the classification.
Over at Northwest Christian, Liz Tweedy has the #4 mark in the 100, if you count non-wind-legal marks. And, Jacquelyn Cook has the #6 200 mark. Tweedy's mark wasn't all that far into the wind-aided domain, so her #4 ranking probably isn't that far off, but it stills warrants some waiting and seeing.
So far, no other school has two different runners ranked top ten in the 100 and 200. A few schools, however, have single runners who are ranked in the top 10 in both the 100 and 200. Those individuals would be Marish Hennix of Phoenix Christian (#1, #3), Sierra Gomez of Arizona Lutheran (#2, #7), and Nadine Spencer-Walters of Chandler Preparatory (#5, #9).
Make of it what you will. There's still some dust to be settled here. And, doubtless there are at least a couple new faces still to meet.
If you're looking for an early team leader in the world of 3A Girls sprinting, look no further than Saguaro High School. They have their blocks figured out early. Nina Hamel ranks #2 in the 100 and #1 in the 200. Her 200 time checks in at a wind-legal 26.75. But Hamel's not alone. Aeva Olson ranks #5 in the 100 and #3 in the 200. There's some powerful sprint magic going on there. It's a great year for a Division 3 school when you have two girls who can light up the timing system like that.
Lydia Szabo of Snowflake has the top 100 time (13.04, wind-legal) and the #2 200 time. All by herself, she makes Snowflake a solid threat to post a lot of sprint points at state, but we're not yet seeing strong evidence of a strong supporting cast at SHS.
We're probably well-advised to wait a while before making too many judgments about who will be running what at state, but--currently--Madison Martinez of Salpointe Catholic is the only other individual with top eight times in both the 100 and 200. Martinez ranks #7 in the 100 and #5 in the 200.
As you may have already expected, things take a major step forward when we move to Division 2. The competition for top spots becomes much, much more intense.
If, however, you're looking for a team that stands head-and-shoulders about the rest for the short sprints in Division 2, look no further than North Canyon. Currently, North Canyon holds the #1 (Ella Escobar, 12.00), #4 (J'neya Hill), #6 (Riley Patera), and #9 (Treasure Rinaldi) times in the Division 2 100. Even someone recovering from COVID can sniff a screaming 4x100 with that kind of cast.
Domination like that is kind of mind-boggling.
Williams Field is nicely represented because Alyssa Colbert holds down the #2 spot in both the 100 and 200, and she's just a hair outside of first in both cases. But, there's no evidence that Williams Field can go to town on relays the way North Canyon can.
McClintock has two top-eight 200s in Renaja Dickerson and Amaya Passarella. Those two aren't showing up yet on the 100 board, but don't be surprised if they do soon. Meanwhile, teammate Jordyn Johnson is #15 in the 100. That might make Johnson a bit of a reach to be a state placer in May, but she's definitely material for a very solid 4x100 relay.
There's nothing new about Chandler High School dominating girls sprints in Arizona, but the level of domination might be elevated a notch or two this spring. The top four spots in the 100 all currently belong to Chandler: Trinity Henderson (12.08), Eryn Garrett, Tara Sommerville, and Jocelyn Johnson. For good measure, Saniah Christian, Imani Sells, and Katelyn Kragrud jump in at 8, 9, and 10, respectively. All seven are 12.67 or faster. It's not allowable under the rules, but it's entirely conceivable Chandler could run a B 4x100 and take second at state.
The story isn't much different at 200 meters. There, Chandler holds four of the top five positions--and they're held by the same girls holding the top four spots in the 100. Kylee Kragrud jumps in at #7. The time required to be a card-carrying member of this group? So far, a 26.26.
Chances are slim that anyone will be displacing Chandler at the top of the Division 1 sprints.
Highland's Lainey Jones is, thus far, the only one able to break up a Chandler clean sweep of the top spots. Jones holds down the #5 at 100 meters, but the #3 at 200 meters. Hamilton's Kori Martin has the next best double at 6th in the 100 and 9th in the 200.
Whether this is a desirable situation or not depends a lot on your perspective. I have no interest in engaging in that debate, but I won't pretend not to know that it exists.