MESA - With state tournament track down to four divisions instead of the seven of previous years, the competition became deeper-something that didn't faze Desert Vista.
The Thunder girls team finished fourth overall in Division I Saturday at Mesa Community College.
"It made it a lot harder to get here," Desert Vista coach Chris Hanson said of the new divisional structure. "When you have so many more teams, it makes it more competitive."
Desert Vista's girls relay teams led the way with a second place finish in the 4x400 with Yasmine Yacut, Sydnee Freeman, Prasanna Polite, and Alisha Maxwell running the legs.
The 4x800 relay saw both Ahwatukee schools place. The Desert Vista team consisting of Samantha Goodall, Yasmine Yacut, ReyAnn Rivera, and Natalie Krafft placed third. The Mountain Pointe team consisting of Katelin Warren, Cera Hassinan, Francesca Olguin, and Ellen Hill finished in seventh.
The Thunder's Alisha Maxwell finished seventh in the 400-meter run.
Julia Kline, last year's third-place finisher in the 100 meter hurdles, fought her way to an 8th place finish. Coach Hanson said she is dealing with a foot injury.
"It's her senior year," Hanson said. "Nothing was going to keep her off the track."
Pole vaulters Adam Puchi and Matt Arseneau finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
"I was fortunate enough to gain points for the team," Puchi said.
In the discus, the Thunder's Riley Pendergast came in fifth. His teammate Spencer Schumaker finished in eighth.
"I'm semi-pleased," Pendergast said. "I was expecting for a little more, but it was still a good performance."
Eric Hernandez had a good showing for the Desert Vista boys, finishing fifth in the 300 meter hurdles.
Mountain Pointe's Ben Trotter finished sixth in the 100-meter dash.
Kemp is a freshman journalism major at Arizona State.