The schedule at Arizona state track might have been all discombobulated, but the athletes never seemed disjointed.
They just kept pushing, achieving and coming home with medals.
Because of Wednesday’s untimely storm many of the Division I and Division II preliminaries were pushed until Friday or even Saturday.
It made for a long day and one that will be remembered for a very long time as several area athletes set personal records on the state’s biggest stage for track on Saturday at Mesa Community College’s Riggs Stadium.
It was headlined by the Mountain Pointe boys 4x100 relay team setting the state record in convincing fashion.
It is one thing to know you have won a relay race with a good time, but it is a totally different feeling when something special just happened.
The moments afterward are a bit surreal, wondering if, just maybe, a record is about to be erased. All eyes are fixed on the official scoreboard and as each second passes the heart races a little bit faster.
Then there it is in red digital numbers — boom — state record.
The knowledgeable crowd has a guttural reaction, knowing automatically that there is a new Arizona standard.
It’s a pretty cool scenario as the Pride came in time of 40.46 seconds to best the mark of 40.90 set by Laveen Chavez in 2008.
“We knew we could do it,” junior Kejavon Moore said. “We got a good time (41.02) last time and it wasn’t a clean race. As long as we all did what we were supposed to do we knew we could get it.”
There are many factors that have to come together for something like this to happen because there are so many factors — the baton, the wind, lane assignments, traffic, injuries — but it was a perfect Pride run.
That’s what happens when you combine flawless handoffs, unmatched combo speed and a senior anchor who wanted to leave an imprint.
“It’s my last year and now I can go with a state record,” senior Ben Trotter said. “We did this to share with Mountain Pointe and hopefully it stands for a long time so we can always look back on it.”
The Pride didn’t have to look back against its competition (Chandler was second at 41.58) as the lineup – Moore, junior Travonn White, freshmen Paul Lucas and Trotter – seemingly never lost stride and when Trotter came motoring down the lane with no one even close it was a matter of waiting on the official time.
Soon after posing on the podium, White and Trotter made their way over to the long jump pit to battle it out.
There was a time when White might not have recovered.
The Mountain Pointe junior could have melted and disappeared like a sugar cube in coffee as hot as it was that night.
Instead White came back from scratching, which doesn’t count as one of three attempts allowed, on his final attempt to put together a long jump of 24 feet and 5.5 inches to win the Division I state title.
“I like testing my mental toughness,” he said afterward. “Something like that would have bothered me before, but I understood I had another chance. All it takes is one time.”
That one time was enough to push Trotter to second as the later was leading White by 2 inches heading into White’s final attempt.
Trotter was at 23-07, knowing White could beat him in his final attempt. It’s a tough position, wanting to be rewarded for all the hours put into his fantastic four-year career, but also wanting White to do his best.
“We’re competitive,” said Trotter, who finished third in the 100. “What are you gonna do? Travonn is great at it. I want to win. I was just watching him do his thing knowing if he got off a good one he’d beat me.”
While the Pride athletes were at the top of the performance list, it was a quality day for several other area athletes.
Desert Vista junior Dylan Fischer was able to clear his head after underperforming in the shot put last Wednesday, but the junior managed to put it together in the discus on Saturday.
He finished third in Division I by smashing his personal record by more than 11 feet as he came through with a toss of 167 feet, 3 inches after never clearing 156 before.
“I had to show something after (his poor effort) the shot,” said Fischer, who had three straight fouls in the shot where he was the top seed. “My timing was off. I came back and showed that I can compete when it counts most.”
His throwing mate Ryan Hawkinson finished fifth in the shot with an effort of 55-07.5. Mackenzie Holmes-Digiovine was third in the discus at 126-10 in the girls meet.
DV’s freshman Dani Jones finished fourth in the 1,600 with a PR time of 5 minutes and 03.51 seconds and followed it up with another PR as she placed third place in the 800 in 2:14.34.
“I felt strong and ready,” Jones said after the 1,600. “I was under control and had my best time by two seconds.”
Desert Vista junior Carter Macey finished second in the 3,200 run with a time of 9:30.33, while the Desert Vista girls 4x400 team finished sixth with a time of 4:00.98.
Horizon Honors sophomore Mikaela Martin led the Eagles as she finished fifth in the Division IV 1,600-meter run and fourth in the 3,200 run with a time of 12:11.22, junior April Vidal was seventh in the 400 with a time of 1:04.14. Junior Samantha Weeman was sixth in 300 hurdles.
Mountain Pointe’s other top performers included junior Kevina Godfrey as she finished third in the 100 with a time of 12.10 and fifth in the 200 at 25.49. She was also the anchor on the 4x100 team that finished second to Chandler.
The Pride finished in 47.82 with the contingent of junior Kelsie Hale, sophomore Shannon Jackson, seniors Shaman Bailey and Godfrey as Chandler won in 46.86.
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