Valley Christian, Tempe Prep and Scottsdale Prep all finished among the top five schools in the Division IV girls state championship track meet at Mesa Community College on Saturday night.
Valley Christian ended two days of competition with a fifth-place finish, while Tempe Prep accumulated 58.5 points that bumped it 4 1/2 points above Scottsdale Prep for second place. Pusch Ridge Academy won the meet by scoring 75 points.
Boosting Scottsdale Prep's performance was junior Charlotte Moore, who finished second to the dominant Savannah Brown of St. Johns – Brown won the gold in the 100, 200, 400 and long jump – in the 400, but took gold in the 800-meter run. She ran the 800 despite having just one other event – the 300-meter hurdles – as a respite between that race and the 400.
The fatigue appeared to affect her in the early going, as she trailed Pusch Ridge senior Sarah MacDonald for approximately 600 meters. In those final 200 meters, however, Moore said she fell back on the skills she developed as a sprinter and found a vital "kick" at the end to forge the one-second disparity between herself and MacDonald.
“The first lap I didn't think I was going to keep up with her. Then I remembered it was state and I had to push,” she said.
Pacing Valley Christian was senior Emily Shieh, who won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.77 and took second in the 300-meter hurdles.
“It's a great feeling, hard work pays off,” she said after her 110-meter victory.
Winning the 300-meter race was Horizon Honors senior Samantha Weeman, who earned a bronze for her role in the 4x100-meter relay team, and, like Moore, finished behind Brown in the 200 but earned a gold medal elsewhere.
Making the 300-meter performance more impressive for Weeman was the quad injury she sustained while running her leg of the 4x100 relay, which caused her to limp noticeably after her ensuing races, but still didn't prevent her from winning the event and then some.
“I PR'ed and I don't know how,” she said, referring to her time of 47.60 seconds.
Pacing the way for East Valley teams in Division IV boys was Valley Christian, which took third overall with 48 points behind second-place Morenci and winner Arizona Lutheran.
Highlights for Valley Christian included junior Dayton Nussle's first-place finish in the shot put and the Trojans' 4x800-meter relay team, which came from behind to upend Morenci in the finals.