May 16, 2004
The finish of the 2A girls 1,600-meter relay final on Saturday was a scene that has become familiar over the past nine years — Valley Christian way out front and everybody else fighting for second place.
The Trojans won the 2A Track and Field Championships final race going away and did the same in the team competition, scoring 156 points to claim their ninthconsecutive championship.
Scottsdale Christian was a distant second with 122 points.
"We know the standard we have to live up to and we all do our part," said Trojan senior Julie-Anne Bailey. "It’s not any one of us. We know where we’re ranked and what we have to get for our team for points."
The Trojans won six events over the two-day meet, riding the efforts of a handful of athletes who made their way to the top of the podium and outstanding depth. Freshman Shamesha Smith won the 400 and long jump and anchored the 1,600 relay victory and junior Tiffany Foley won the 100 and ran legs on the 400 and 1,600 relay winners.
Foley was third in the 100 as a freshman and second as a sophomore before finishing her climb Saturday.
"I’ve probably just gotten more confident in myself," also second in the 200. "That’s just mentally, physically I worked really, really, really hard this year."
Bailey won the 1,600 Friday but saw her three-year reign in the 800 ended by Scottsdale Christian freshman Jillian Klassen. On Saturday, Klassen’s domination of her idol continued, anchoring an Eagle win in the 3,200 relay and running away from Bailey to win the open 3,200.
"She’s going to be incredible," Bailey said.
Though she won just one of her four events, Bailey was upbeat, doling out advice and leading prayers with her rival distance runners.
"I must say, Julie-Anne is an incredible leader, she really just inspired me," Klassen said.
The Trojan boys didn’t create near the gap as their distaff counterparts, but 111 points was enough to best Tombstone by eight points and win a fourthstraight team title. Valley Christian became the first 2A boys team to win four in a row since Benson from 1985-88.
Valley Christian was victorious despite the curse that continue’s to dog hurdler Shawn Smith. Smith was disqualified from the 300 hurdles as a freshman, tripped over teammate Taylor Voss in the 110 hurdles as a sophomore and Saturday false started and was disqualified from the 110 hurdles again.
With his teammate out of action, Voss carried the Trojan colors to victory, beating Phoenix Christian’s Nate Huss by a nose — actually 0.08 seconds. Then in the 300 hurdles, Smith found redemption for the second straight year, defending his title with win in 39.22.
"I had so much anger and energy, I just tried to put it in one (race)," said Smith who growled in exultation just before the finish line.
"I was so happy. I just had to get it out of me."