Written by Jessie Vanderson
Arizona’s stature as a hot bed for high school track and field talent continues to grow. Several former prep thin clad standouts from the state earned All American honors recently (June 8-11) at the NCAA Division Track and Field Outdoor National Championships at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Former Phoenix Brophy Prep standout Devon Allen led the way with his national championship in the men’s 110-meter high hurdles. Allen, a red shirt sophomore at the University of Oregon, blew over the 10 hurdles and got across the finish line in 13.5 seconds to claim his second Div. I national championship in the 110 hurdles in the last three years. Allen will be action in at Hayward Field in three weeks competing at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trails (July 1-10). He is considered a strong threat to make the team (top 3 finishers in each event) in the 110 hurdles.
Arizona senior Pau Tonneson grabbed All American honors for the second straight year at the national championships when he finished fourth in the decathlon with 8103 points. Wildcat junior Gerhard De Beer finished fourth in the discus throw. Arizona State University, which saw its excellent 4×100 relay unit of Benjamin Trotter (Mountain Pointe), Isiah Underwood (Glendale Ironwood), Brandon Hasson, and Reggie Lewis earn All American honors with their eighth-place finish (39.9) in the championship final. Sun Devil junior Tim White finished fourth (54.4.50) in the triple jump to earn All American honors.
Robert Grant, a former teammate of Devon Allen at Brophy High, competed in the 400-meter hurdles and on the 4×400 relay for Texas A&M. Grant, an Aggie sophomore who was the Division I boys’ state champ in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles in 2014, increased his name recognition nationally when he dashed to a surprising fourth-place (49.6) in the 400-meter hurdles’ final to earn All American honors. Grant ran the anchor leg for an Aggies’ unit that joined to run to fourth-place (3:03.9) in the 4×400 relay final.
Big performances highlighted the competition in the women’s meet for those who follow track and field in Arizona. Former Chandler High All American Hannah Carson, a red shirt senior at Texas Tech, hurled the javelin 199 feet, 7-inches on Thursday (June 9) to take second in the javelin throw for the second straight year. Carson, who helped Chandler High win four straight Division I team state championships, earned second team All American honors two day’s later when she finished 14th (172-11) in the discus throw. Kansas State University junior Kimberly Williamson, who spent her freshman year at Central Arizona College in Coolidge, cleared the bar at 6-2.75 on to win the national championship in the high jump. Kansas State finished tied with Stanford University for seventh-place (29).
The University of Southern California, which finished tied with the Florida for ninth-place (28), received an excellent meet from former Oro Valley Canyon del Oro great Jaide Stepter. The senior raced to sixth (55.3) and All American honors in the 400-meter hurdles. She closed out her career as a Trojan by helping a SC unit earn All American honors with their eighth-place finish (3:40.6) in the 4×400 relay.
Arizona junior Sage Watson anchored a Wildcat quartet that also included Gia Trevisian, Katelin Warren (Tempe Mountain Pointe) and Jasper Gray to second team All American honors with their 13th-place finish (3:33.5) in the 4×400 relay.
Arizona finished the outdoor championships in 42nd-place with six points. Arizona State, which received a fifth (208-8) in the hammer throw and an eighth ((179-4) place in the discus from sophomore Maggie Ewen, finished in 46th-place with five points.