They call Desert Vista’s girls pole vault team the Magnificent Seven, and the athletes showed why Saturday at the state 5A-I girls championship at Mesa Community College.
Led by Shaylan Simpson, who cleared 12 feet, 6 inches to win the individual state title, Heather Arseneau, Lindsay Jantzi, Kylie Harmon, Courtney Reginato and Emily Heisler won six of the top seven spots in the event.
Kaitlin Silcox from Glendale Mountain Ridge broke up the sweep with a third place vault of 11-6.
Those performances and a gold medal run by Desert Vista junior Yasime Yacut in the 800 meters helped the Thunder finish second behind Chandler in the state championship meet (177.50-84.50). She was sixth in the 1,600 meters.
The Thunder girls edged Phoenix Xavier, one of the co-favorites with Chandler, by half a point (84.50-84) and helped them move up a spot from their third-place finish last season.
Mountain Pointe also moved up several spots this season with a 10th place finish. The Pride were 15th last season.
The Desert Vista girls relay team also placed third in the 4x400 relay and fourth in the 4x800.
Junior Julia Kline also helped the Thunder girls team earn some valuable points by finishing third in the 100-meter hurdles. She was sixth in the 300-meter hurdles.
Desert Vista junior Sydnee Freeman had hoped to break the 57-second mark in the 400-meter dash. She finished at 57.73 and placed fourth in the event.
The Thunder also had a strong showing in the throwing events.
Courtney Darling and Courtney Kastelic were seventh and eighth in the shot put. Darling also scored points with a seventh-place finish in the discus.
Desert Vista’s girls won the state championship in 1999 when they needed only 66.5 points to win the championship. The Thunder also won the title in 2004 and had other runner-up finishes from 2001 through 2003 and again in 2005 and 2006.