Brophy’s Big Three was big enough.
The Broncos, behind outstanding performances from Devon Allen, Will Firth and Tommy Williams, captured the boys Division I state track and field championship on Saturday night at Mesa Community College. The Broncos scored 77 points, with Allen, Firth and Williams accounting for 67 of those. Chandler was second with 73 points.
“I’d love to have a team that’s deep in a lot of events,” said Williams, who was Brophy’s lone individual state champion, winning the 800. “We got in the room and said, ‘guys, we can win a state championship.’ And we calculated the maximum score in each event, so we were all motivated to perform our best to score as much as possible.
No one on Brophy’s team performed as well as Allen on Saturday. The sophomore was second in the 110 high hurdles, second in the 200, third in the 100 and fourth in the 400.
“I knew what they needed from me,” Allen said. “We have great coaches and they had us ready.”
Allen’s most impressive race came in his first, the 110 hurdles. He went toe-to-toe with Westwood’s Cameron Taylor, falling just short as Taylor ran a season-best 13.81 and Allen ran 13.90. Those times came into a strong headwind.
“(The wind) was bad, but I just had to clean up my technique and run a clean race,” Taylor said.
Allen made Taylor work hard for it, running a personal best 13.90.
“I was nervous there in the middle of the race,” Taylor said of having Allen running right along side. “I clipped hurdle five or six and he was right on my back.
“I was just concentrating on getting my lean, because with that headwind, if you got up just a little bit, it would knock you back.”
Allen then spent the rest of the night chasing Deer Valley’s Trae Armstrong, who swept the 100, 200 and 400.
Allen was second in the 200 in 21.50, third in the 100 at 10.90 and fourth in the 400 at 48.88.
Like Allen chasing Armstrong, Firth and Williams chased Cibola’s Bernie Montoya in the 1,600 and 3,200. Montoya won the 3,200 on Wednesday, with Firth and Williams second and third, respectively. On Saturday, Montoya lost his right shoe with 350 meters left, but still kicked away from Firth and Williams to win the 1,600.
“Coming in, I wanted to win the mile again, but it didn’t shape up,” said Williams, who was the 1,600 champ in 5A-I last year. “But Bernie, he’s a heck of a runner.”
Brophy’s Firth was second at 4:15.43, Williams was third at 4:19.01, just ahead of Mountain View’s R.J. Massey.
Williams then won Brophy’s only individual state title in the 800, clocking a 1:55.48 to edge Mountain View’s Brandon Wheat, who ran a 1:56.03.
“It was after the mile, so I was hoping it would go out a little bit slower,” said Williams, who was near the back of the pack after one lap. “I’ve had good success negative splitting in the 800. It won’t set a lot of records, but it’ll get it done.”
Chandler enjoyed a 3-4 finish in the 110 hurdles from Devin Centers (14.67) and Paul Perkins (14.86), respectively. Red Mountain’s Connor Wince was fifth in 15.05.
Taylor was even better later in the night when he won the 300 intermediate hurdles in 37.05, just .04 off the all-time Arizona record, held by former Westwood star Cylend Simmons.
Taylor came out hard and built a lead, but Perkins closed in the final four hurdles but couldn’t make up the difference, finishing with a personal best 37.71. Mesquite’s Ryan Stoltzman was third at 38.03 and Basha’s Austin Horton fourth at 38.33.
Chandler got 10 points out of the 300 hurdles to narrow the gap on Brophy, but Allen’s second place in the 200 countered those points.
Chandler’s final hopes were in the discus and the shot put, but they couldn’t get enough points. Tevin Wheaton was third in the shot put at 55 feet, 10 1/4 inches, behind Tolleson’s Brandon Pineda (61-6) and Desert Ridge’s Alex Barrett (55-11).
In the discus, Travis Colby was fourth for the Wolves at 161-3. Buena’s Jeremy Tuttle won with a season-best throw of 182-2.
In another final on Saturday, Basha’s Garrett Starkey won the pole vault with a 16-0 clearance. Mountain View’s Jake Jarvis (15-0) was second and Horizon’s Grant Sisserson (14-6) third.