All photos (exept Jasmine Todd in Long Jump) by Margot Kelly/AZTrackXC.com
Six states will come together to compete in the 72nd Annual Chandler Rotary Invitational this weekend. Included among the commited teams are 88 teams from Arizona, Long Beach Poly from California, 5 teams from Colorado (Classical Academy, Lewis Palmer, Nederland, Silver Creek and Telluride), 3 teams from New Mexico (Albuquerque Academy, Bosque and Rio Rancho), 2 teams from Idaho (Twin City and Vallivue) and Montwood from Texas. Also making their way south is Vinent Massey Collegiate from Manitoba Canada.
The Chandler Rotary has produced top 10 national marks each year as well as several division records and a few state records. The meet has become a favorite with athletes as they go up against the best in the state regardless of class with several returning athletes and a few new faces.
Here are a few key events to watch.
On the girls side Chinle comes into the meet with the fastest time to date with a time of 9:28.16 but will be up against Xavier College Prep (the teams are scheduled to run in different heats) with 9:43.57. Without knowing which athletes will be running in the relays it's anyone's guess who will come out on top. Long Beach Poly from California has a history of outstanding marks in the sprint relays but could pose a challenge to Xavier in the 4x800.
The match-up to watch is the 4x100 relay and the Long Beach Poly (US#32) and Chandler HS (US#12) girls. Chandler enters the meet with a swift time of 47.49 while Long Beach Poly is a sliver behind in 47.99. Both teams could push each other to quicker times.
The Dobson boys are favored in the 4x800 relay with the fastest time to date of 8:12.55 but could definitely be challenged by Brophy College Prep (8:19.00), Mountain Ridge (8:19.74) and Hamilton (8:20.74). Dobson flew around the track at the Rattler Invitational 2 weeks ago keeping the lead throughout the entire race with little pressure from other teams. They will most likely run a PR this weekend.
Brophy College Prep tops the AZ leader board in the 4x100 relay with a 41.95 giving them a national ranking of US#25. Sandra Day O'Connor, Chandler HS and Long Beach Poly will definitely be in the mix.
Devon Allen (Jr., Brophy Prep) is the clear front runner in the 110 hurdles with a US#6 ranking and a time of 14.03. Allen was recently invited to the Brooks PR, racing the top hurdlers in the country, and finished 4th in the 60 meter hurdles. He is also the Arizona leader in the 300 hurdles with a US#34 ranking and a time of 39.24 but will be challenged by Corona del Sol sophomore Tevin Mayfield. Mayfield is ranked US#37 with a 39.39 time.
Sherrelle Jordan US#23 (Jr., Chandler) and Jaide Stepter US#27 (Sr., Canyon Del Oro) have the top 2 Arizona times in the 100 hurdles with only a .01 separating them. Jordan leads with a 14.58. Long Beach Poly senior Traci Hicks tops the California Leader Board at CA#1 and the National Leader Board at US#3. Hicks, 100 hurdle winner of the California HS run for the Dream Invitational and the Redondo Nike Festival will be difficult to beat. Teammate Kymber Payne (So) will also be in the mix.
The battle in the 300 hurdles will be between Jaide Stepter and Makaila Flannigan (Jr., Chandler). Stepter is ranked US#8 with a time of 43.47 followed closely behing by Flannigan with a US#10 and a time of 43.74.
Ariana Washington (So., Long Beach Poly) leads the 100 meter dash with times of 12.00 and a ranking of US#21. Ky Westbrook (So., Chandler) leads the girls 100 and 200 meter sprints for Arizona with a time of 12.12 in the 100 dash and a 24.66 in the 200 dash. Michaela Crunkleton-Wilson (So., Salpointe Catholic) has a 200 meter dash time of 24.67 and will be a strong contender in the race. Jasmine Todd (Sr., Chandler) has not competed in any outdoor meets this season but will be a factor in the 100 dash. Todd finished the 2011 season with a time of 11.80 followed by Westbrook with a season best of 11.81.
Once again Devon Allen is the front runner in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.73. Seven athletes have already sprinted under 11 seconds this season and all will be contending for the top spot. Trae Armstrong (Sr., Deer Valley) has had some strong early races in both the 100 dash (10.89) and the 200 dash (21.66) where he leads the Arizona line-up and ranks US#23. Javon Williams (Sr., Chandler) is 3rd in Arizona in the 100 dash (10.91) and 200 dash (21.79) and leads Arizona in the 400 dash in 48.77. Billy Fraser (Sr., Mohave) is also 3rd in Arizona at 10.91 and Trevon Myles (So., Mesquite) is AZ#2 with a time of 21.72.
Rolonda Jumbo (Sr., Chinle) and Sarah Fakler (Jr., Xavier College Prep) will be entering the Sally Meyerhoff Milesplit Mile with the fastest career times. Jumbo has a 4:56.83 1600 PR from the 2011 Chandler Rotary where she finished 2nd behind New Mexico's Julia Foster (now at Stanford University) and Fakler's 1600 career best of 4:54.39 came at the 2011 Arizona State Meet. Jumbo has a season best of 5:10.85 this season while Fakler will be running her first 1600/Mile this year. Kelley Robinson (Sr., Nederlands, CO) ran a 5:04.49 indoor time at the Simplot Games last month and a 5:13.71 outdoor time this month. Super frosh, Danielle Jones (Desert Vista) ran a 5:12.00 at her first high school track meet 2 weeks ago and could really shine in this race with the competition pushing her.
Erik Harris (Sr., Twin Falls, ID) ran a 4:13.90 at the Arcadia Invitational in 2011 and will be in a battle with Arizona's Bernie Montoya (Jr., Cibola) who ran a 4:15.94 2 weeks ago at the Rattler Invite to break Billy Orman's Meet Record. Montoya has a career best of 4:12.01 and will be looking for a new PR. Ivan Rodriguez (Jr., El Paso Del Valle, TX) - 4:21.60, Andy Trouard (Jr., Salpointe Catholic) - 4:21.64 and Nathan Rodriguez (So, Corona del Sol) - 4:22.63 could improve on their times and come close to the top milers.
Several 2011 State Champions will be competing for the top spots in the field events.
Jasmine Todd (Sr., Chandler) is a 7 time Arizona State Champion winning the triple jump 3 times and the long jump twice. She also broke the Arizona State Record in the triple jump by jumping 41-5 at the 2011 Chandler Rotary in 2011 and is the "hands down favorite" in both events. This will be Todd's first outdoor meet this season as she just finished her indoor season 2 weeks ago at the New Balance Indoor Nationals, finishing 2nd in the Long Jump with a PR of 19-11.25 and 6th in the triple jump. For the boys Travonn White (Jr., Mountain Pointe) leads the boys in the long jump with a jump of 24-03.75 followed by Hamilton senior Justin Thymes (23-5) and Robert Lewis (Sr., Florence) with 23-0.75. Mountain Pointe senior Ben Trotter is close in 4th with a PR of 22-5. Avery Mickens (Valley Vista) leads the boys triple jump with a 44-10.
Ashlee Moore (So., Hamilton) won the Arizona State Meet last season as a freshman with a PR of 5-10 and is the favorite in the girls high jump. Eddie Wilcox (Sr., Chandler) leads Arizona in the high jump this season with a 6-6 but will be challenged by Andrew McDonald (Sr., Sandra Day O'Connor) who has jumped 6-4 this season but finished last season with a jump of 6-6. Deante Gaines (Sr., Cibola) also finished the 2011 season with a 6-6 jump. Chris Oestmann (Sedona Red Rock) has a jumped 6-5 this season.
Hunter Wilkes (Sr., Hamilton) and Venessa Davis (Fr., Desert Vista) have both jumped 11-6 this season and Abbie Sharkey (So., Red Mountain) is close behind with an 11-3. Any one of the these could hit 12 feet this weekend. Garrett Starkey (Sr., Basha) is the only Pole Vaulter to hit 16-0 this season and is ranked US#6. Desert Vista teammates Matt Arseneau (Sr.) and Scott Marshall (Jr.) have both jumped 15-6 and are both ranked US#17 and Nathan Hiett (Jr., Basha) has a jump of 15-3 and is ranked US#23.
Valarie Allman (Jr., Silver Creek, CO) has a US#8 ranking in the discus with a throw of 143-0.75 but has thrown the discus 145-5. Makenzie Holmes-Digiovine (So., Desert Vista) is ranked US#20 with a throw of 134-9.
Bianca Finn (So., Chandler) has a US#29 ranking in the shot put with a toss of 41-8. Finn will be battling Amanda Conlin (Jr., Deer Valley).
In the boys throws Travis Colby and Shawn Collins, both seniors at Chandler HS, will top the Arizona leader board in the discus with just an inch separating the two. Colby has a discus throw of 163-6 followed by Collins 163-5. Talaiasi Tauel (Sr. Mesa), Alex Barrett (Sr., Desert Ridge), Colby and Collins all have a chance to win the shot put. Talaiasi has the farthest distance of 57-6.
Good luck to all the athletes!!!