Memorable Moments from the 2012 Season
Records galore: Arizona had one of its best seasons ever, as six new state records were set. Brophy’s Devon Allen set two of them, breaking new ground in the 110-high hurdles, eclipsing a 32-year-old record with his time of 13.52. Allen also became the first Arizona prep athlete to run under 37 seconds in the 300-intermediate hurdles when he clocked his time of 36.36. Two East Valley relay teams also set new records, the first came when the Chandler girls ran a 3:50.83 in the 4x400-meter relay and the second coming when the Mountain Pointe boys ran 40.46 in the 4x100 relay at the Division I state championships.
Early finish to stellar career: Chandler’s Jasmine Todd set an all-time Arizona mark in 2011 in the triple jump (41-5) and had already seriously challenged the all-time long jump mark when she leapt 20-1 1/2 at the Chandler Rotary Invitational in March (the all-time record is 20-4 1/2). But shortly after the Rotary meet, the University of Oregon-commit suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice.
Super freshmen: First-year athletes definitely made a presence during the 2012 track season. Highland’s Lauren Ellsworth got a late start to the season, but made up for lost time by winning the Division I state title in the girls’ 800 with a time of 2:13.81, the fastest time by a freshman in state history. Ellsworth held off another freshman, Desert Vista’s Dani Jones, was third in the 800 at 2:14.34, which was better than the old freshman record. In all, three of the top four 800 times on the season were by freshmen. Another freshman, Mountain Pointe’s Paul Lucas, posted the best freshman time in state history in the 400 when he ran a 48.34. He also clocked a 21.76 in the 200 and ran a leg on the Pride’s record-setting 4x100 relay. A third freshman record fell in the girls pole vault, where Desert Vista freshman Vanessa Davis cleared 12-0 1/4. Another freshman, Mountain View’s Kaija Bramwell, made 12-0 to surpass the old freshman mark.
A school first: Higley claimed the first boys state championship in school history when it won the Division III title after falling one point shy of winning in 2011. The Knights were carried by their sprint crew of Michael Strnad, Tristan DaCosta and Cameron Wooden. Between them, that trio scored 57 points, with Strnad winning the 200, Wooden winning the 400 and those three teaming up (along with Mythias Young) to win the 4x100 relay.
Making up for a mistake: It was only fitting that the final leg on Chandler’s victorious 4x400 relay was Javon Williams. At the 2011 meet, it was Williams that let the baton drop after the Wolves finished second in the 4x400 relay, which led to the team being disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. That mistake cost Chandler the team title, but Williams more than made up for it this year, leading the Wolves to the Div. I title with second place in the 400 and fourth in the 200. Shawn Collins led a 1-2-3 sweep in the shot put and Travis Colby won the discus and Chandler racked up 107.5 points.
Seven and counting: The loss of one of their most prolific point scorers in Jasmine Todd did little to derail the high-speed train that is the Chandler girls team. The Wolves rolled to their seventh-straight title in the state’s largest class, with the majority of their team being underclassmen. Two Wolves won double individual gold, as Ky Westbrook won the 100 and 200 for the second year in a row and Makaila Flannigan won both hurdle races. Chandler won the 4x100 and 4x400 relays and had multiple place-winners in seven events to display its all-around dominance.