No disrespect to the local high school track and field — especially because it’s as good as ever the past five years — but sometimes it pays to go beyond these borders.
Four titles in one state championship meet is grounds for elite status anywhere in the U.S., but Chandler junior-to-be Jasmine Todd has dreams of world glory, and for that, she’ll head west.
Back in Arizona, she won the 100-meter dash, triple jump, long jump and helped with the 4x100 relay for the Wolves’ fifth consecutive state championship. She’s already got the third-longest triple jump in state history (40 feet, 1 inch) and a 19-foot, 11-inch long jump is a 5A record and fourth-longest in the nation this spring.
That was then. This is now: The Nike Track Nationals in Oregon during 4th of July weekend and USA National Junior Track and Field championships in Des Moines,
“It’s really fun and competitive going against more people in your range,” she said. “I’ve got to get out there and push myself.”
That’s not to say she isn’t pushed by local competition, her father Larry, a longtime track coach here and previously California, and Wolves coach Eric Richardson. But she’s won six total state championships in two years (including the 100 and triple jump twice). She enters “upperclassman” status seeking to spend this summer breaking state records, some of which she could break again before all is said and done in high school.
Up next is the Nike invitational, where several Wolves will attempt to win a mythical national championship. Todd will compete in the 100 meters and long jump. Chandler teammates Hannah Carson (shot put and discus), Mia Townsend (800), Alexis Roberts (400), Alexis Clay (100 hurdles), Hailey Bowser (pole vault) and Cadija Harris (high jump) are also on the guest list.
Jasmine’s brother, Lewis, won the boys state championship in triple jump, and that’s what the siblings constantly discuss. As good as she is in the 100-meter sprint, Jasmine knows what will butter her future “bread.”
“Long and triple seem to be more fun and exciting because it’s more competitive than running,” she said. “It pushes you more because you have to jump beyond what they do. It’s more mental and I really like being challenged with my mind.”
All-Tribune Girls Track First Team
ATHLETE SCHOOL YR. EVENT COMMENT
Shannon Jacobs Highland Sr. 100 12.02 at QC Invite 2nd best time in state this season
Mackenize Flannigan Chandler Sr. 200 5A-I title with 2nd-fastest overall time of season (55.86)
Alexis Roberts Chandler Fr. 400 Fastest time of year (55.76 in region meet) took 2nd in 5A-I
Yasmine Yacut Desert Vista Jr. 800 5A-I state champion (2:16.22)
Ashley Workman Queen Creek Sr. 1,600 3-time winner (800, 1,600, 3,200) for 4A-I state champs
Jessica Tonn Xavier Sr. 3,200 Won 14 state titles in high school track/XC; Headed to Stanford
Alexis Clay Chandler Jr. 100 Hurdles 2nd place in 5A-I (14.61) was 2nd-fastest overall of season
Sarah Geren Horizon Sr. 300 Hurdles 5A-II state champion also took 3rd place in 100 Hurdles
Kitsia Rivera Mtn. View Sr. Shot Put 3rd-best toss in state this season (39 feet, 6 1/2 inches)
Hannah Carson Chandler Jr. Discus Dominates discus and shot put with state titles; 3rd in high jump
Cadija Harris Chandler Jr. High Jump 5A-I state champion at 5 feet, 5 inches
Jasmine Todd Chandler So. Triple Jump Four-time champion in 2010 (triple jump, long jump, 100, relay)
Shantella McCoy Marcos de Niza Sr. Long Jump 5A-II state champion (17 feet, 11 1/4 inches)
Shaylah Simpson Desert Vista Sr. Pole Vault Easily best in state won 5A-I title (12 feet, 6 inches)
Athlete of Year: Jasmine Todd, Chandler
Coach of the Year: Terry Derry, Notre Dame: With freshman Rachel Johns and senior Lea Stevens leading the way, Derry led the Saints to their first girls track championship since the school opened in 2002.
All-Tribune Girls Track Second Team
ATHLETE SCHOOL YR. EVENT COMMENT
Katie Warinner Scottsdale Christian Fr. 100 2A champion (13.05) also took 2nd in 100 Hurdles and 3rd in 400 relay
Rachel Johns Notre Dame Fr. 200 4A-II champion at 25.27 sec.; Also won the 100 and 2nd in 400-meter
Michelle Kreutzberg Desert Mtn. Jr. 400 5A-II champion (56.55) had 3rd fastest time in AZ this season
Tess Berghoff Arcadia Jr. 800 State champ in 4A-II (2:16.90) and took 2nd in 1,600-meter run
Sarah Fakler Xavier Fr. 1,600 Finished 2nd in state to Tonn (4:56.18 at Chandler Rotary) and 3rd in 3,200
Kristy Rush Highland Fr. 3,200 Finished 2nd in state to Tonn (10:45.91) and 3rd fastest in 1,600
Quinn Robertson Valley Christian Sr. 100 Hurdles Won both 2A hurdles titles; 2nd in both long and triple jumps
Victoria McArthur Hamilton Jr. 300 Hurdles 2nd in 5A-I (44.87) and 4th fastest time in state at region meet
Ana Padgett Red Mtn. Jr. Shot Put 3rd in 5A-I and fifth-best throw this season at 38 feet, 5 1/4 inches
Jamesse Evans Desert Ridge Sr. Discus 3rd best in state (130 feet, 8 inches)
Dana McKenzie Corona del Sol So. High Jump 2nd in 5A-I to Harris with 5-foot-4 leap
Rahelys Barsey Dobson Sr. Triple Jump 3rd in 5A-I state meet and in AZ (37 feet, 5 1/4)
Ida Meyer Hamilton Jr. Long Jump 2nd to Todd in 5A-I also 4th best leap in 2010 (18 feet, 6 1/4 inches)
Liz Portanova Chaparral Sr. Pole Vault Won 5A-II championship (12 feet) and was 5th in high jump
Chandler: Steffanie Jordan, Sr., 200; Corona del Sol: Briana Vaifale, Sr., Discus; Desert Mtn.: Marissa Opatz, Jr., 800; Desert Vista: Heather Arseneau, Sr., Pole Vault; Kadie McNamara, Jr., Discus; Courtney Reginato, Sr., Pole Vault; Tinisha Toussaint, So., High Jump; Dobson: Jessica Schmitt, Jr., Shot Put; Gilbert Christian: Jessica Price, Fr., 100; Highland: Jaden DeGracie, Fr., Triple Jump; Shannon Jacobs, Sr., Long Jump; Kristy Rush, Fr., 800; Higley: Kenesha Coleman, Jr., 100; Sydney Lovell, Sr., Pole Vault; Horizon Honors: Terah Fullman, Sr., 800; Mesa: Heidi Brinton, Sr., High Jump; Mtn. View: Brianna Decker, So., 3,200; Notre Dame: Lea Stevens, Sr., High Jump; Pinnacle: Lacey Kalinen, So., 1,600; Juliet Summers, Sr., 100 Hurdles; Queen Creek: Shannon McCollough, Sr., Discus; Annalynn Sanders, Jr., 300 Hurdles; Skyline: Bailey Farkas, So., 200; Tempe: Bernadette Coyaw, Sr., Shot Put; Valley Christian: Briena Barclay, Jr., Pole Vault; Daylee Burr, Jr., 1,600; Chandler Fraley, So., Pole Vault; Lisette White, Sr., Pole Vault; Xavier: Katie Penney, Jr., 800; Rachel Shifter, Fr., 800.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM THE 2010 SEASON
• Jessica Tonn didn’t need to push herself. The Xavier senior suffered shin splints and already had a scholarship to Stanford, but that wasn’t good enough. Despite a lack of sustained training because of the injuries, Tonn exhausted herself as she crossed the finish line a final time after two more state championships in the 1,600 and 3,200. She completed a historic high school career with 14 total state championships between cross country and track.
• Queen Creek and Notre Dame returned to the winner’s podium in 4A Division I and 4A-II, respectively. The Bulldogs rode Ashley Workman (three state championships) and a furious second-place finish in the 1600-meter relay to overtake Tucson Canyon del Oro and win the girls title, 78-77. Saints freshman Rachel Johns won the 100 and 200 sprints as Notre Dame edged out Goodyear Desert Edge to win its first girls track championship.
• Chandler dynasties are stronger than ever. This year’s Chandler girls squad with a core of Jasmine Todd, Hannah Carson, Alexis Roberts Bryanna Smythe, Mackenzie Flannigan and Mia Townsend could have been the best of the bunch as the Wolves won a fifth consecutive 5A-I girls title. Across town at ASU’s Sun Angel Stadium, Valley Christian set what’s believed to be a national record with 15 consecutive state championships and 18 in the past 19 seasons. This year there were no outright “stars” on the squad, but Quinn Robertson, Chandler Fraley and Lisette White led the way.