Chandler track wins national championship - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Chandler track wins national championship

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Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 3:38 pm | Updated: 3:50 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The Chandler girls track team had done its work.

It could only wait.

With just the mile run remaining at the Nike Track Nationals in Eugene, Ore. on Friday night, the Wolves were in first place with a national title on the line.

It was the one event they didn’t compete in, so they watched.

"The point difference was uber-small, so we really didn't know if we had enough to win," said Hannah Carson, who captured the shot put and discus titles. "Maybe our coaches knew, but if so, they weren’t telling us. So we just sat there and watched."

After the mile results were tallied, it became official: Chandler's 7,721.65 points were enough to claim the crown, nearly 200 ahead of the closest competitor, Maplewood Columbia (N.J.).

"It feels amazing," said Jasmine Todd, who won the long jump and finished third in the 100 meter dash. "It was nervewracking, even more than (state championship meet). It was such a good feeling to see we won."

The Brophy boys team finished in eighth place with 7,194.78 points. The Desert Vista girls came in 11th with 6,220.18 points.

Brophy's Alex Bishop won the boys pole vault and Geoff Roxborough finished fifth in the discus. Yasmine Yacut finished seventh in the 800 meters, Mary Krestchmar was seventh in the long jump, Kadie McNamara was seventh in the discus and Julia Kline was seventh in the 100-meter hurdles for Desert Vista.

The Nike Track Nationals pitted the top 12 high school girls and boys teams from across the country against each other. During the spring, points were tallied based on an athlete’s results from in-season competitions.

After the high school tournaments were over, the top-ranked teams were invited to face off head-to-head, with Nike paying for the teams to fly to Eugene.

Chandler was ranked second heading into the competition, but a sweep of the field events played a big part in taking home the title.

Cadija Harris won the high jump and Haley Bowser won the pole vault in addition to the victories by Carson and Todd.

The girls were honored at Saturday's Prefontaine Classic, where they did a victory lap and had a chance to meet many professional track and field athletes.

"(Nike) is really making it a huge deal," Chandler coach Eric Richardson said. "The experience was indescribable."

Carson first heard of the competition at a Nike Indoor event. She wasn't sure if Chandler would participate, but Richardson liked the idea. He went as far as re-doing the training regiment to be competitive at this event, which took place more than a month after the track season ended.

"This really validates everything we do in Arizona," Richardson said. "Some of the East Coast people didn’t think there was any good track west of the Mississippi (River), besides California and Texas. We wanted to show that we were competitive."

All seven of Chandler's athletes will return next year, and Carson said the team is already thinking of repeating as national champions. But for now, they'll enjoy this one.

"We're all pumped and excited," Carson said. "It felt really good to do this as a team."

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