Arizona Lutheran Jacob Holguin (left) at The 2022 Nike Chandler Rotary Invitational.
The 2022 AIA State Track and Field Championships are here following a season filled with eventful moments. This year's championships are set up a bit differently, with the entire meet spread out over a week. The meet started yesterday, Saturday, May 7 and ends on May 14. All the finals for each division will take place on one day, May 14, at Mesa Community College. With a handful of the state's top athletes performing at the level of the nation's best, the week is poised to be highlighted by impressive performances.
State Editor Logan Stanley previews the meet -- who and what to watch for in Division IV.
Arizona Lutheran Academy Jacob Holguin is not only the top sprinter in the division by a considerable margin, he is among the top state leaders in the 100m. Holguin's 10.76 is No. 4 overall in the state and is .37 seconds ahead of the second seed, Bisbee senior Geoffrey Gribble. Valley Christian senior Austyn Gerard is the third seed at 11.21. It would certainly take an upset for Holguin to lose.
Holguin has a bigger lead in the 200m, with his 22.04 being nearly .50 seconds faster than the second seed -- also Gribble at 22.53. Morenci sophomore Donivan Vozza is the third seed in 22.75. Gerard is the only other sprinter in the division to have gone under 23 seconds at 22.86. Again, you can pencil in Holguin as the favorite to win.
In the 400m, Trivium Prep senior Jordan Grant is entered as the only athlete with a season best under 50 seconds with his 49.91. Valley Christian junior Jose Garcia is close to dipping in the 49 second range as he comes in with a 50.24. Arizona Lutheran Academy senior Jackson Schaumberg is the third seed in 51.52, with a pair of athletes bunched up behind him -- Glendale Prep senior Ian Penny (51.65) and Phoenix Christian freshman Romel Collins (51.66).
For the hurdles, two athletes come into the meet in the 110mH with times under 16 seconds -- Pima senior Brody Brown (15.26) and Northland Prep junior Lukas Pico (15.61). Those two look set to grind it out for the title. River Valley senior Ulyssis Short is the third seed at 16.31. In the 300mH, it's closer for the top three and should be an enticing race. Brown is the top seed (41.55) with Chandler Prep senior Colton Hackenyos (41.61) as the second seed. Pico is the third seed at 41.73.
The 100m is shaping up to be a close battle between Valley Christian senior Riley Brown (12.41) and Pinion senior Trinity Bethea (12.43). The race could go either way with the top seeds separated by a mere .02 seconds, one of the closest margins among any two top seeds at the state meet -- which should make for an entertaining matchup. Northland Prep sophomore Mollie Donahoe (12.77) and Valley Christian junior Ella Browder (12.82) will be fighting for that final podium spot.
There's a bit of a wider gap in the 200m between Brown and Bethea, albeit not much greater than the 100m. Bethea is the top seed in the 200m with her 25.83 compared to Brown's 25.92 (.12 second difference). Those two are the only athletes in the division to have run under 26 seconds. Browder is the third seed at 26.56 and Pusch Ridge senior Ava Wagner is the fourth seed at 26.71.
Glendale Prep junior Zoe Rich is the only seed with a sub-60 second personal best in the 400m with her 58.32. There should be a tight fight for the remaining spots on the podium with Verritas Prep senior Cheyenne Bruffy-Holmes (1:00.44), Wagner (1:00.93), Northland Prep junior Miyah Weiss (1:01.59), St. Johns sophomore Kayme Smith (1:01.64) and Scottsdale Christian freshman (1:01.78) all within a second of each other.
In the hurdles, Chandler Prep senior Tatum McDonald is the favorite to win in the 100mH with her top seed time of 16.51. Valley Christian sophomore Sorochi Anderson is the second seed at 17.32 with Northland Prep Bella Berardi as the third seed at 17.32. The 300mH are a bit closer -- McDonald is again the top seed at 48.99. But Trivium Prep junior Lea Rosztoczy is close behind at 49.06. Valley Christian senior Emma Liberta is the third seed at 49.27.
BASIS Flagstaff senior Brian Hofstetter is the top seed in the 800m at 1:58.18, and the only runner in the division to have gone under 1:59. But North Phoenix Prep senior Thomas Koska is right there as well with his 1:59.01. Jose Garcia (1:59.31) is the last athlete in the division who has a sub-2 season best. Those three figure to be the podium finalists.
Koska will have another fight on his hands in the 1600m as he is .60 seconds off the top seed, Northwest Christian senior Jonah Archer. Archer comes in at 4:22.21 and Koska at 4:22.81. It should be an exciting race, start to finish. Veritas Prep Jon Barney senior Jon Barney is the third seed at 4:24.33, and is the only other athlete in the division who has run 4:25 or faster.
The 3200m is a different story with Koska's 9:06.36 the fastest time in the division by 23 seconds. Barney is the second seed at 9:29.58 and Archer is the third seed at 9:32.35. Like the 1600m, these three are expected to be medalists.
Similarly to the 400m, Zoe Rich comes into the 800m with comfortable lead on the rest of the field. Rich is the only athlete who has run 2:22.00 or faster in the division with her top time of 2:17.67. Phoenix Country Day sophomore Kimi Cahoon (2:22.47) and St. Johns senior Brooke Smith (2:23.35) will be taking on one another for those two final spots on the podium.
The 1600m features an even bigger difference with Cahoon's 5:14.25 leading the second seed, Round Valley senior Jessica Madrid, and third seed, St. Johns sophomore Aubrie Wilson, by nearly 10 seconds. Cahoon is the clear favorite to win, and Madrid and Wilson look set to duke it for second and third.
The top two seeds in the 3200m, Madrid and Cahoon, are much closer than the other two distance races. Madrid is the top seed at 11:21.39 and Cahoon is the second seed in 11:22.70. With nine laps, this race could go any way. Glendale Prep Taryn Janssen freshman (11:43.24) is the only other runner in the division with a season best under 12 minutes.
Phoenix Christian Jerahmia Smith is the top seed in the shot put with his mark of 54-4. Smith is the only one in the division to have eclipsed 54 feet. Scottsdale Prep Academy senior Max Rubin is close to doing so as well as the second seed at 53-9.5. Valley Christian senior Jacob Booth is the third seed at 52-4, and has almost a foot lead on the third seed, Bisbee senior Edward Holly at 51-5.5.
Rubin is the top seed in the discus at 160-6. He is the favorite to win over the second seed, Booth at 152-7. Those two are in a field by themselves are they are the only ones in the division with season bests of 144 feet or better. Mogollon senior Tyler Owens is the third seed at 143-4.
The top three seeds are separated by two foot intervals, with two freshmen leading the way. Round Valley's Sydnee Finch is the top seed at 39-4. St. Johns' Maren Cox is in second at 37-4.5 Scottsdale Christian senior Brooke Hancock rounds up the top three at 35-6. The discus is a bit closer with Valley Christian junior Amelia Wolf leading the second seed 109-3 to 108-2, respectively. Pima senior Saydee Allred is the third seed at 107-7.
In the javelin, Wilcox junior Maylee Thompson is the top seed at 110-6. St. Johns' sophomore Jaycee Willis comes in as the second seed at 109-1.75. St. Davis sophomore Anissa Jacquez rounds out the top three at 108-7. Thompson is the favorite to win.
The high jump will definitely be one of the highlights at the state meet with seven athletes all within two inches of each other. Mogollon junior Blayk Kelton is the top seed at 6-3. There are five competitors all tied at 6-2. Kelton has the slight edge on the field, but with so many people clustered up, a number of outcomes could happen.
As well as being one of the division's top sprinters, Geoffrey Gribble is the leader in the long jump at 22-0.75. And like the sprints, he'll be competing with Jacob Holguin. Gribble holds the advantage in this matchup with a four inch lead on Holguin (21-8). Valley Christian senior Logan Kelley is close behind as the third seed at 21-7. BASIS Flagstaff junior Evan Hofstetter (21-6) is the only other athlete in the division who has jumped farther than 21 feet. Another Valley Christian competitor, senior Jackson Colburn, leads the triple jump at 43-7.5. Hofstetter is close as the second seed at 43-5.25. Kelton is the third seed at 43-0.25.
The pole vault is a one-person competition with Kelley holding a foot and half lead on the second seed. Kelley is entered at 16-6 with Phoenix Country Day senior Elliot Wessel as the second seed at 15-0. Wessel's teammate, freshman Sam Novak, is the third seed at 13-1.
In the high jump, there is a three-way tie for the top seed at 5-4 -- Northland Prep junior Abigail Yanka, Sorochi Anderson and Aubrie Wilson. Those three should be ones the fighting it out for the state title.
Arizona Lutheran Academy junior Sierra Gomez is the top seed in the long jump at 17-4, but that came in a +3.6 wind. St. Johns sophomore Ellie Otto is the second seed in the long jump at 17-0.5. There's a bit of room until the third seed, Veritas Prep senior Sofie Valencia at 16-3. Wilcox junior Maylee Thompson is the fourth seed at 16-2. Those four are the only athletes in the division to have jumped farther than 16 feet, but there are two competitors -- Yanka and Valley Lutheran freshman Natalia Hernandez -- at 15-11. Otto is the leader in the triple jump, and holds a big lead there. Otto is the top seed at 35-1 with Valencia also the second seed at 34-0. Pusch Ridge Christian junior Jazmine Schrader is third seed at 33-8.
Like the boys pole vault, the girls also features a clear-cut favorite. Valley Christian Gabrielle Dummann is the division leader at 11-0. The second seed is Round Valley junior Riann Cluff at 9-3 with teammate, senior Jessica Soderberg, as the third seed at 9-1. No one else in the division has cleared nine feet.