Great finishes left lasting memories at the Sun Angel Classic, April 8, 2017. (Richard Obert/azcentral sports)
Just a couple of weeks removed from breaking a 30-year-old state discus record, Oro Valley Canyon del Oro senior Turner Washington on Saturday established a new standard in the event at the prestigious Arcadia (Calif.) Track Invitational.
Washington threw the discus 217 feet, 5 inches on his first attempt, breaking his state record of 215-8 that he threw at the Chandler Rotary Invitational.
Washington, who will compete at the University of Arizona in track and field, threw 217-2 in his final attempt at Arcadia.
Phoenix Desert Vista’s Elijah Mason was second at 212-11.
Goodyear Desert Edge junior Tyson Jones, aiming for a 59-year-old state record in the shot put (69-3), finished third at Arcadia in the shot at 63-0. He threw a Sun Angel Classic meet record for high school athletes on Thursday at 63-5 1/2. At Chandler, Jones launched the shot better than 66 feet.
The Sun Angel and the Arcadia meets run at the same time.
Most of the state’s top athletes opted to run in the Arcadia Invitational against many of the nation’s best athletes.
Desert Edge senior Dante Blissit stayed home and won the Sun Angel high school discus Thursday at 182-1 at Arizona State. Scottsdale Prep’s Weston Wright (179-10), Mesa Desert Ridge’s Sebastian Coleman (174-3) and Jones (173-6) all bettered the previous Sun Angel high school record of 170-7.
Tolleson’s Trey Johnson ran the 100 dash and the 110 hurdles preliminaries on Thursday, then traveled to California for Saturday’s invitational finals in those events. He was third at Arcadia in both the hurdles (13.89 seconds) and the 100 (10.65).
Both Ryan Bender of Phoenix Desert Vista and Draycen Hall of Gilbert Higley ran faster preliminary times in the 100 on Thursday than Johnson, who ran 11.11.
In Saturday’s final at Sun Angel, Bender (11.01) edged out Hall (11.03) for the title.
“It was kind of windy tonight,” said Hall, the Gatorade Arizona Football Player of the Year in 2016, who ran a sub-11-second 100 on Thursday. “It wasn’t the perfect conditions. He’s fast. His legs are a little bit longer. I did my best.”
Hall, who has offers in football from several Ivy League schools and from Navy and is receiving serious attention from BYU, says he wants to get to at least 10.8 by season’s end.
“We’ll see,” Hall said. “I want to peak at state.”
Gilbert Highland senior Alena Ellsworth set a personal record in the 400 meters on Thursday, then surprised herself Saturday night by bettering that mark with a Sun Angel high school girls record of 54.68. The previous mark was 55.18, set by Peoria’s Judith Onyepunuka in 2006.
Ellsworth’s best mark coming into the season was 55.36, a time she did as a freshman.
“This was a really big goal,” Ellsworth said. “It’s been my goal for four years, to break 55, and I finally did it.”
Phoenix South Mountain senior Robert Williams won a photo finish against Scottsdale Chaparral’s Umajesty Williams in the boys 400 final. Both were clocked at 48.70, but Robert Williams received the gold medal with an exact time of 48.694 over Umajesty’s 48.699.
“I felt good about it,” Robert Williams said. “It was kind of hard going down the back stretch because the wind was blowing me backwards a little bit. I had to use more energy than I wanted to.”
Jae’Nisa Heckstall of Glendale Raymond S. Kellis came close to former Peoria star Kenyanna Wilson’s 100 Sun Angel high school record of 11.57, which Wilson ran in 2006.
Heckstall, a junior, won the race in 11.95, ahead of South Mountain freshman Autumn Boyd (12.31).