The outcome of the Division I girls state track meet was pretty much decided on Wednesday, but there were some surprises on the way for Chandler, as it won its sixth straight state championship on Saturday at Mesa Community College.
When the Wolves team of Imani Adams, Bacall Sterling, Dominique Jackson and Alexis Roberts brought home the victory in the 4x400 relay (3 minutes, 54.46 seconds), it gave the Wolves an Arizona big-school record of 224.5 points. Hamilton enjoyed its best finish ever, placing second with 71 points. Xavier was third with 61 points and Desert Vista fourth with 42.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night for the Wolves was freshman Ky Westbrook, who upset teammate and defending 100 champion Jasmine Todd, in the 100 and then followed that up with a victory in the 200.
“I was really happy about that 100 win,” Westbrook said. “I was glad that (Todd) was also happy for me and we had a really good race.”
Westbrook won both events with a cast on her left hand, the result of a crash while warming up to run the hurdles at the Queen Creek Invitational in April.
The plaster didn’t slow her down, as she won the 100 in 12.22, edging La Joya’s Plasarae Johnson, who was second in 12.30. Todd came in third at 12.32.
In the 200, Westbrook closed strong in the final 70 meters to win in 24.60. Teammate Alexis Roberts was second in 24.73 and Plaserae Johnson third in 24.81.
“When I came around the curve I felt that Plasarae was beating me, and then we were kind of tied,” Westbrook said. “But then another gear kicked in I guess.”
Todd erased some of the disappointment of the 100 by leading a 1-2-3 Chandler sweep in the long jump. Todd won at 19-6, with Alexis Clay second and Flannigan third.
The surprise in the 100 hurdles was the everybody made it through the race standing up. The last time Chandler’s Sherelle Jordan and Hamilton’s Ashlee Moore ran side-by-side in the 100 hurdles, the race ended with Moore sprawled out on the track and Jordan disqualified.
“That didn’t end well for her, it was a little bump and fall,” said Jordan of their race at the Queen Creek Invitational. “My coach told me to stay on the outside of the lane because she was on the inside, so we took precautions so that didn’t happen again.”
On Saturday, both ran clean, with Jordan edging Moore for the title, winning in 14.52 to Moore’s 14.55. Chandler’s Makaila Flannigan was third (14.95), Red Mountain’s Alexis Schroeder fourth (15.05) and Corona del Sol’s Megan Benson fifth in 15.29.
“I’m really proud,” said Jordan, a sophomore. “I went through a lot last year, so I told myself at the end of last year that I wasn’t going to have another year like that.”
Moore got the first of what may well be a bunch of state titles later in the evening in the high jump. The freshman jumped higher than any other freshman in Arizona history, clearing 5-10 to beat Chandler’s Hannah Carson, who cleared 5-8.
“I’ve been working so hard for 5-10, so finally getting it was kind of like, oh my gosh, I’m finally there,” Moore said. “And then, having to go to 5-11, I kind of didn’t want to jump any more.”
Moore’s victory in the high jump was the first of three individual titles for the Huskies. First, Destiny Lundy ran the fastest time in the 400 all season, clocking a 55.85. Roberts was second in 57.10 and Lakevia Stormer of Corona del Sol third at 58.27.
Later, Victoria McArthur ran the second-fastest time of the year in the 300 hurdles, a 43.74, to beat Flannigan.
“You have no idea how happy I am,” said McArthur. “Last year, I lost by just over the second hurdle, so winning that was more important than just winning to me.
“Destiny and I, we’ve been working so hard this year, so everything came down to that one moment and we both achieved what we wanted to.”
Despite a less-than-stellar meet, Xavier ended things on a good note by taking the top four spots in the 3,200. Sophomore Sarah Fakler led the pack of Gators with a time of 10:35.48. Daylee Burr was second at 10:59.46, Bre Peronne third at 11:01.12 and Shelby Brown fourth 11:02.42.