The Tempe City track meet is the last time to blow it out before the state meet.
The top athletes push themselves one more time before resting up and putting it all on the line for the gold a couple of weeks later.
If this year’s meet, held last Wednesday at Desert Vista, is any indication state is going to be very rewarding for the Ahwatukee Foothills-based schools.
The Thunder won both the boys and girls team titles with more depth than the Grand Canyon.
The Desert Vista boys held off Mountain Pointe with 147 points to the Pride’s 139 with Corona del Sol (134), McClintock (49), Tempe (20) and Marcos de Niza (20) filling out the field.
In the girls event, the Thunder had a little easier time with 161 points to defeat Corona (133.3) and the Pride (124.33). Tempe (46), Marcos (29.33) and McClintock (12) finished in the distance.
No matter how it adds up, Desert Vista again dominated this event to keep alive the possibility of yet another double top five finish at the state meet, which is May 10 and 12 at Mesa Community College.
The Thunder won both meets outright for the sixth straight year and won at least a share of first in both meets eight straight years.
While the Thunder’s performance has become the norm, the Pride continued its fantastic season especially for the boys after finishing with just three points at state last season.
Mountain Pointe has been terrific all year in the sprints and relays and it continued at the city meet.
The Pride, which last won a share of first in the girls event in 2006 and in 2004 won the boys event, finished 1-2-3 in the 100-meter dash as Ben Trotter took it with a time of 10.65 seconds, while Travonn White (11.04) and Kejavon Moore (11.18) backed him up.
Trotter also won the 200 in 21.77 and Moore won the 400 in 49.78. The key, however, to success at state might come from the emergence of freshman Paul Lucas, who was runner-up in both of those events.
He was also on the 4x400 runner-up team as well. Lucas had a huge youth career, winning national titles, and is now showing up on the high school level as he set new records in the 200 and 400 for freshman and was named Outstanding Male Athlete at the freshman showcase at the Buffalo Stampede.
“He has such a great amount of natural ability,” Mountain Pointe coach Jeff Griffin said. “Both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays are much stronger when he is in the mix.”
The Thunder boys won their eighth straight and 10th overall because of the depth in the field events as Dylan Fischer won the shot put with a toss of 56 feet and 1 inch and came home with the discus title as well with an effort of 155-11.
Desert Vista dominated the events as Ryan Hawkinson was second in the shot (53-07.5) and third in the discus (140-11), while Bishop Lister (43-07) was third in the shot and Jordan Rezac (144-06) was second in the discus.
The Desert Vista girls, who won or shared the title for the 12th straight year and 13th overall, had contributors from all over the team, most of them underclassmen.
Freshman Vanessa Davis won the pole vault by clearing 12 feet, freshman Danielle Jones won the 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes and 16.35 seconds and sophomore Nicole Hicks took the 3,200 in 11:58.68.
The Thunder swept the triple jump as Sydney Bresnehan won it with a leap of 34-03 and was followed by teammates Andy Lopez (33-03.5) and Damali Britton (33-03.25).
The Pride girls weren’t quite as good but showed plenty of explosion heading into state as Kevina Godfrey took the 100 and 200 titles in times of 12:54 and 25.74, respectively. Teammate Shannon Jackson was the runner-up in each event at 12:75 and 26.36.
The tandem, along with Kelsi Hale and Shaman Bailey, was also part of the winning 4x100 relay team that set the meet record in 48.52. Bailey also set the meet record in the long jump with an effort of 18-02.25, winning by nearly 3 feet.
Katelin Warren was her usually dominate self as she won the 400 in 59.06 and anchored the winning 4x400 team that won in 4:04.45 with Alexis Ramirez, Godfrey and Madison Deucker.
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