It’ll be a scary sight to see Ray Polk at his best.
The Phoenix Brophy track star shrugged off a bothersome right hamstring and some trouble on the first four hurdles to finish with the nation’s sixth-fastest time (13.93 seconds) in the 110-meter hurdles at the fourth annual Tribune Invitational on Friday at Westwood High.
Polk finished the event .26 seconds ahead of Chandler’s Ashtyn Lamb in a very quick race. He’s aiming even higher when it comes to state.
“I’m hoping to drop down to the mid-13 (seconds),” Polk said. That would break the current state record of 13.69 seconds in the event.
Phoenix Desert Vista won the boys side of the invitational with 107 points, followed by Chandler (104) and Mesa Mountain View (69).
Chandler would have won, but a disqualification on the 1,600 relay took away 10 points. Then again, Desert Vista held out some of its top distance runners, so both teams dealt with obstacles.
In the 1,600 relay, a track official ruled that Chandler’s Marc Anthony obstructed a Desert Vista runner while both handed off their batons to the anchor runners. Although both the Desert Vista and Chandler coaches asked officials to count the points, the ruling was upheld.
Still, Chandler’s Mikhail Barton — who outraced celebrated Desert Vista sprinter Allante Battle down the final stretch for the apparent victory — thinks his team sent a message with the performance.
“I had been hearing Allante this and Allante that, but I think we just shocked a lot of people in this stadium,” he said. “This feels good right now.”
Mountain View took home first place on the girls side with 97 points.
Chandler finished in second with 77 and Dobson was third with 55 points.
The Toros were led by Cami Jackson, who finished first in the 3,200 (11:06.94).
Mountain Pointe’s Polyanna Trotter won a pair of sprinting events, finishing the 100 in 12.38 seconds and the 200 in 25.53 seconds.
Chandler’s Larrissa Matthews blew away the field in the 100 hurdles, finishing in 14.29 seconds.
Horizon’s Jim Walmsley won the 3,200 with a time of 9:19.58, 24 seconds ahead of second-place finisher John Yatsko of Tempe McClintock. Walmsley smashed the previous meet record of 9:45.76 seconds set by Gilbert Highland’s Craig Breinholt in 2005.
This was the last big meet of the year before the state tournament.
“I’m going to ease into it, and then I’ll be ready to go,” Barton said.