Strong head winds during the morning prelims and early afternoon field events kept the times slow and the jumps short but as the night went on and the winds died down, the times got faster. Four meet records fell and several US top five times went up on the boards.
The afternoon events started with the girls 4x800 meter relay (pictured above). Even with a last minute substitution to replace the top 800 runner in the Xavier Prep line-up, Katie Penney, the team still pulled off the win in 9:39.52, 8 seconds ahead of Chandler who finished in 9:47.65. Mesa Mountain View took 3rd in 10:03.45 and Desert Vista finished 4th in 10:08.63.
Flowing Wells took the win for the boy with a 7:59.00 with Millennium finishing 2nd in 8:08.98.
The Chandler girls 4x100 team won the event in 48.32 landing them in 18th place in the US. Hamilton took second in 49.11 and Highland finished 3rd in 49.60.
On the boys side Cesar Chavez (pictured above) won in a US#9 time of 41.89. Ironwood Ridge finished 2nd in 42.78 and Perry placed 3rd in 42.90 Cesar Chavez also won the 4x400 meter relay later in the night with a 3:22.07. Catalina Foothills came in 2nd with a 3:24.16 and Chandler finished 3rd in 3:25.34.
The Chandler girls went under 4 minutes in the 4x400 meter relay finishing with a 3:56.23. Desert Vista finished 2nd in 4:06.27 and ThunderRidge (CO) took 3rd in 4:06.57.
Sprints and Hurdles
Christine Clark (Sr., Tucson Magnet photo above, lane 3) won the 100 meter hurdles in 15.08. Senior Megan Benson from Corona del Sol nipped Jaide Stepter (So., Canyon del Oro) at the line finishing 2nd in 15.18 with Stepter taking 3rd in 15.19.
Elijah Britton (El Paso Chapin, TX, photo above) won the 110 hurdles in 14.92 edging out Chandler senior's Yusuf Muhammad (14.89) and Bryce Wood (14.87).
Serene Williams (Sr., Peoria, above lane 4) had quite a night as she doubled in both the 100 and 200 meter dash. Williams won the 100 dash in 12.02 ahead of 2nd place sophomore Jasmine Todd (12.18) from Chandler and 3rd place senior Kayla Fisher-Taylor (12.24) from Montbello, CO. Later in the evening Williams won the 200 dash in 25.01 over Chandler's Mackenzie Flannigan (Sr., 25.24) and Notre Dame freshman Rachel Johns (25.41).
Trae Armstrong (photo above lane 6) also doubled in the 100 and 200 meter dash. The Deer Valley sophomore won the 100 dash in 10.91 followed by Chandler senior Joshua Rushing (10.97) and Desert Vista's Anders Battle (Sr., 10.99). Later in the 200 Armstrong ran a 22.80 with Anthony Lopez (So., Mesquite) finishing 2nd in 22.30 and Battle taking third in 22.33.
The 400 meter run was another tight race with 3 girls breaking the 58 second mark. Alexis Roberts (Fr., Chandler) won the event in 57.04. Junior Michelle Kreutzberg from Desert Mountain took 2nd in 57.24 and Bryanna Smythe (Sr., Chandler) finished 3rd in 57.44.
Dylan Hambright (Sr., Arcadia, photo above far right) took the win in the 400 meter dash finishing in 48.75. Jacob Garcia (Sr., El Paso Montwood, TX) finished 2nd in 49.38 and Ronnie Sanchez (Jr., Perry) placed 3rd in 49.79.
The Milesplit Mile
The Elite Mile was the race of the night with both the girls and the boys finishing in US#1 spots. A timing clock was set up to record both the 1600 and the mile marks.
In the girls mile Xavier Prep freshman Sarah Fakler took the lead and held it throughout the entire race until she hit the 1600 mark where first time miler, Emily LaValley (Sr., Classical Academy, CO), passed her for the win. At first glance it looked as though Fakler had won the 1600 and LaValley won the mile but on further review LaValley had a very slight edge of .01 over Fakler. LaValley crossed the 1600 mark in 4:56.17 over Fakler's 4:56.18 and went on to finish the mile in a US#1 time of 4:57.58 over Fakler's US #2 time of 4:57.83.
The race was without nationally ranked Jessica Tonn (Sr., Xavier Prep) who had been struggling with grade 3 shin splints for the last few weeks. Tonn was the defending Chandler Rotary champion in the 1600 and 3200 and is hoping to return to action soon. She was at the meet to cheering for her teammates.
Also missing from the lineup was Chinle sophomore Rolonda Jumbo. While training with her horse for the barrel rolls, Jumbo hit a metal barrel and tore open her leg just below the knee and received 8 stitches and 25 staples. Her running career will be on hold for 3 to 4 weeks.
The boys race was fast and furious with top Arizona runners Sherod Hardt (Sr., Queen Creek), Steve Magnuson (Sr., Ironwood Ridge) and Brian Shrader (Sr., Sinagua) all jockeying for the lead at different points in the race. With 600 meters left in the race Magnuson was in the lead looking very comfortable but with 300 to go 4th place runner, Alex Herring (Sr., Albuquerque, NM) heard a lot of people cheering for Sherod Hardt and decided to make a move to see if he could reel some runners in. "I at least wanted to get Sherod Hardt," said the 6 foot 5 Herring. "Once I got Sherod I saw Shrader coming back to me a little bit and at the 200 I started to move in on him." With 50 meters left Herring was starting to break down but kept it together long enough to get the win. His first place finished of 4:10.70 in the 1600 and a 4:12.33 in the mile earned him a US#1 spot in both distances and a new 1600 meet record previously set in 1993 by Webb Shelly. Magnuson also broke the 1600 meter meet record of 4:12.99 with his US#4 4:12.40 second place finish. Shrader took 3rd in the race with a US #6 4:13.63. Hardt finished the race in 4th place with a 4:16.10 and is ranked US#2 with a 4:11.49 from the Desert Classic Invite 2 weeks ago.
Herring came to the Chandler Rotary to improve on his 4:22 PR and his coach knew he needed a big meet with some top runners to achieve his goal. "My coach told me we would be going to Chandler Rotary because two teammates, Curtis Beach and Taylor Murray, came here last year and did really well." Herring also credits his altitude training in Albuquerque as a really big help.
3200 and 800 Meter Runs
After her second place finish in the mile, Xavier Prep freshman Sarah Fakler was on a mission and was not about to let anyone catch her in the 3200 meter run. She looked fierce and determined as she ran 8 laps around the oval each one as strong as the one before. As the bell rang for her final lap Fakler took off and never looked back. She approached the final curve at the 100 mark, to a standing crowd cheering her on, determined to beat her 10:50 PR she achieved two weeks prior. Her 10:47.48 finish was 21 seconds faster than 2nd place Emily LaValley (Classical Academy, CO) and ranks her as 13th in the country.
It was a closer race in the boys 3200 meter run as Tuba City junior Billy Orman hung with the lead pack until the 5th lap where he made a move to put some distance between himself and everyone else. Orman won the event in 9:24.09 with Alejandro Montano (Jr., Catalina) taking 2nd in 9:28.72, Daniel Wong (Jr., Canyon del Oro) placing 3rd in 9:29.11 and Andrew Hagler (Sr., Chandler) finishing 4th in 9:29.55.
Tess Berghoff (Jr., Arcadia) gave a final push in the 800 meter run to overtake Katie Penney (Jr., Xavier) 15 meters before the finish. Berghoff finished in 2:16.33 with Penney taking 2nd in 2:18.44. Yasmine Yacut (Desert Vista) finished 3rd in 2:18.88.
Danny Tarango (So., El Paso Burges, TX) won the 800 meter run in a US#10 time of 1:54.43 with Jared Gonzales (Sr., Chandler) finishing 2nd in 1:55.96 and Julio Martinez (Sr., Trevor Browne) in 1:56.40.
Records fall in the 300 Hurdles.
Jaide Stepter (So, Canyon del Oro) ran a blistering 43.79 in the 300 meter hurdles breaking the meet record set in 2009 by Kala Stepter (Canyon del Oro). Jaide's time was almost 2 seconds faster than her prelim time putting her at US#10. Victoria McArthur (Jr., Hamilton) finished 2nd in 45.33 and Christine Clark (100 hurdle winner from Tucson Magnet) finished 3rd in 46.18.
Harry Danilevics (Sr., Brophy Prep) won the boys 300 hurdles in 37.94, also breaking the meet record set by Cylend Simmons of Westwood in 2005. Yusuf Muhammed (Sr., Chandler) took 2nd in 38.01 and Le' Sean Marks (Sr., Hamilton) finished in 3rd with 39.28.
Riley Crosby (Sr., Centennial) and Alex Bishop (Sr., Brophy Prep) both jumped over 16-00 in the last two weeks but with the windy conditions it was a little tougher on Saturday. Crosby finished the night with a 15-6 and Bishop finished 2nd with a 15-0. Crosby and Bishop are both ranked US#3 with their 16-0 vaults.
For the second time in a week Shaylah Simpson jumped 13 feet. Six days before the Chandler Rotary Simpson placed 2nd at the Nike Indoor Nationals by hitting a 13-2.25 for the Arizona State Record. Saturday she jumped 13-00 for the first time outdoors. Her jump put her at US#3. Teammates Emily Heisler (Sr.) and Courtney Reginato (Sr.) placed 2nd and 3rd with 11-6 giving Desert Vista a sweep of the top 3 spots.
Jasmine Todd (So., Chandler, photo above, far left) was a double winner winning both the Long Jump in 17-08 and the Triple Jump (into the wind) in 38-01.25 and setting the sophomore record (Triple Jump). Todd also placed 2nd in the 100 meter dash. Teammate Alexis Clay (center) took 2nd in the Long Jump with Maddie Nossek (Payson, far right) finishing 3rd. Clay and Nossek both jumped 17-6.50.
Tavin Blaylock (Tolleson, pictured above, far left) won the Long Jump in 22-01.50 and Andres Estrada (El Paso Franklin, TX, pictured above in center for 3rd place in long jump) won the Triple Jump in 45-11. Also in the photo is 2nd place Charles Robinson (Mesquite), Estrada, 4th place Dylan Williams (Hamilton) and 5th place Lewis Todd (Chandler).
Bryan McBride (Sr., Sandra Day O'Connor) won the boys High Jump in 6-08. His jump is ranked 13th in the US. Tinisha Toussaint (Desert Vista) won the girls High Jump with a jump of 5-05.
Hannah Carson (Jr., Chandler) won the girls Shot Put with a throw of 43-03.50. Her throw ranks her #12 in the US. Brendon Pineda (Tolleson) threw the shot put 53-02.50 for the win.
Julian Lieb (Sr., Xavier Prep) won the discus with a throw of 123-3 for the girls and Jeremy Tuttle's(Jr., Buena) throw of 169-04 won for the boys.