By Vincent R. Crawford
Albuquerque was once more home to the Great Southwest Classic and many Arizona high school student-athletes traveled east to the University of New Mexico to compete against other track stars from 20 other states.
Utah’s Jaslyn Gardner (11.84) was the 100m dash winner with Glendale Raymond Kellis’ Jae’Nisa Heckstall (12.05) Arizona’s best finisher in fifth place.
In the 300m hurdles, Heckstall (42.23) finished second to Colorado’s Emily Sloan (42.14) but ahead of Chandler’s Jai Gruenwald (42.24), who was third.
Gruenwald (6.08m; 19-11.75) also finished third in the long jump competition bettering her personal record and state championship-winning leap of 19-10.75, on May 6.
Phoenix North Canyon’s Jadyn Mays (24.05) and Chandler’s Anaya Bailey (24.10) met in the starting blocks of the 200m dash for the second time this season and Mays was the 200m dash winner. Bailey (24.07) won at Chandler Rotary with Mays (24.19) coming in third.
Tucson Sahuaro’s Brielle Sterns (14.15) ended third in the 100m hurdles behind winner Sloan (13.78). Heckstall (14.30) was sixth.
In addition to Heckstall, Phoenix Xavier Prep’s Jada Sims was another Arizona athlete that competed in three events – 100m hurdles (15.27), high jump (1.45m), and long jump (4.85).
Phoenix Mountain Pointe’s Brittany Patterson (12.32) was second in the triple jump behind winner Wyoming’s Leila Martinez (12.43).
The most anticipated race of the GSW was the boys’ 300m hurdles with four of the nation’s top six competitors in the event.
Florida’s Thomas Burns (35.25) and Texas’ Charles Brockman (35.62) remained 1-2 in the country with their season-best times on the year. Texas’ Eric Edwards (36.26) edged Kansas’ Noah Green (36.28) for third place and the two now rank 5th-6th in the U.S.
Tolleson’s Trey Johnson (10.68) blew away the field in the 100m dash as Utah’s Will Prettyman (10.93) finished second. Johnson (13.80) was second in the 110m hurdles to Texas’ Eric Edwards (13.45).
Chandler’s Edwin Adams (14.09) left fourth in the 110m hurdles just ahead of Kellis’ Brandon McGuire (14.10) who was sixth in the 300 hurdles (37.59). Mesa Westwood’s James Smith (14.66; 37.76) also competed in both hurdle races.
In the Elite 100m dash, Texas’ Roman Turner (10.43) won a tight race over New Mexico’s Jordan Byrd (10.47) and Texas’ Keishawn Everly (10.48).
Scottsdale Chaparral’s Umajesty Williams (47.66) stood third in the Open 400m dash that was won by Texas’ Terrance Mullings (46.81).
North Canyon’s Tyrees Moulton (46.51) ran a personal best time in the Elite 400m dash, but finished third behind Florida’s Tyrese Cooper (45.38) and Louisiana’s Sean Burrell (46.19).
Phoenix Brophy Prep’s Robert Brooks (7.29m) placed second in the long jump competition to Texas’ DJ Henderson (7.75).
Phoenix Desert Vista’s Elijah Mason (60.59) and Goodyear Desert Edge’s Dante Blissit (55.91) were second and fourth in the discus which was won by Texas’ Gabriel Oladipo (62.88). Oladipo (20.08m) also won the shot put followed by No. 2 Desert Edge’s Tyson Jones (19.67) and No. 3 Mason (19.24).