High school track and field athletes turned in impressive performances at the state championships on Saturday. Richard Obert/azcentral sports
Rio Rico senior Allie Schadler knew the wind Saturday would be her biggest opponent at Mesa Community College.
Even though strong wind wouldn’t allow her to break Dani Jones’ state record in the 1,600 meters, she captured another Division III state championship.
Her time was 5 minutes, 8.20 seconds. The state record is 4:44, set by Jones two years ago. Schadler was about a second off of that time in late March at the Chandler Rotary.
She also added her first 400-meter state title to her impressive high school resume during the state track and field championships on a day when few, if any, personal records were set.
“It was rough,” Schadler said of the wind. “My goal coming in was just to win. I wasn’t really going for time.”
Rio Rico track coach Stephen Schadler opted not to run his daughter in the 3,200, an event in which she shattered the state record in April at the Arcadia Invitational. Instead, he put her in the 400, just to have fun.
She enjoyed winning at 58.02 seconds, off of a personal best.
Chandler won its 11th state championship in 12 years with sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers all doing their part.
Chandler won the 4×100 and the 4×800 relays. The state-record 4×400 group of LaMeyah Charlton, Armani Harris, Anna Foreman and Anaya Bailey put an exclamation point on the title, winning the last relay in 3:52. It couldn’t break the state record for a fourth time this season, but Bailey waved her arms in excitement as she finished the race. Chandler finished with an insurmountable 187 points.
Phoenix Desert Vista was second with 81.
Morgan Foster, part of Chandler’s 4×800 relay, wasn’t able to break her own state record in the 800, which she set last year as a freshman. But she defended her title.
Senior Anaya Bailey wasn’t able to better her state-best 100 dash that she ran in Wednesday’s preliminaries when there was no wind resistance.
She settled for a state title in 12.23 seconds after running 11.79 on Wednesday.
Bailey also was part of the winning 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams. Bailey anchored the 4×100 relay. Chandler won that in 47.49 seconds with three underclassmen, including freshman Jayde Charlton, joining her.
With the wind still blowing hard in the runners’ faces, Bailey won the 200 in 26.20, ahead of Tucson’s Neysia Howard (27.40) and the freshman Charlton (27.58).
Junior Jai Guenwald gave Chandler 30 points, winning the long jump (19 feet, 7 1/2 inches) and the 100 hurdles (15.03) and 300 hurdles (44.17). She was nearly two seconds slower in her 300 preliminary time of 42.89 from Wednesday.
“I’m kind of upset because I really didn’t get over any hurdles, and it was back to back (the long jump and 100 dash),” Guenwald said. “And the wind was absolutely horrible. But at the end of the day, I did good.”
Phoenix North Canyon freshman Dominique Mustin won’t ever forget the finish to her first state championship. She collapsed at the finish of the 4×800 relay, cramping up with 50 meters to go.
She willed herself to the finish line for her team’s victory.
It ended up giving North Canyon the team title by one point, 75-74, over Cave Creek Cactus Shadows.
Mustin had to be carried off the infield and to the trainer’s tent where she received fluids.
“This never happened to me before,” Mustin said. “Bad thoughts were going through my head, but I was just trying to do it for my team. I really wanted the state championship.”
She said a fast first lap of just over a minute caused her to cramp up.
“I just tried my hardest to get to the finish line,” Mustin said. “I was done. My body just really cramped up and my legs just died and my body shut down.”
Another North Canyon freshman found another gear. Jadyn Mays won the 200 title in 25.80 seconds.
The freshmen teamed up in the end to help North Canyon win the 4×400 relay in 3:55.59.
South Mountain’s 4×100 relay team of freshmen Alaijah Huckaby and Autumn Boyd and senior Kymori Henderson and sophomore Ebony Carter won in 48.19.
Jae’Nisa Heckstall of Fairfax won the 300 hurdles with a time of 43.79.
Fountain Hills won its third consecutive state championship, scoring 70 points.
Sahuarita Walden Grove got a big boost from its sprinters to finish second with 65 points. Olivia Ceballos, Naudia Dawson, Jala Pinckney and Sakovia Thompson teamed up to win the 4×100 relay in 49.13 seconds.
Fountain Hills got a strong effort from senior Kelsey Schultz, who won the 300 hurdles in 45.67.
Even though the sister duo of Samantha and Allie Schadler caught leaders to help Rio Rico win the 4×400 relay title, it wasn’t enough to win the team title.
Fountain Hills’ second-place finish gave it eight points and enough to win state again.
Hannah Flodin of Lakeside Blue Ridge won the 200 dash in 26.63, just ahead of Dawson (26.91). Thompson gave Walden Grove three points with a seventh-place finish.
Tucson Pusch Ridge won the state championship by two points over Scottsdale Prep, 72-70.
Pima’s Jessica Sherwood won the 400 dash in 1:01.14.
Tucson Pusch Ridge’s 4×100 relay team of Angel Addleman, Cherish Gotcher, Sara Sawyer and Kacy Haynes won in 50.66 seconds.
Haynes later took the 200 dash at 27.57.
Becka Nicholas of Thatcher won the 300 hurdles in 47.87.