By Jessie Vanderson
Will “Jay-D” become as good as the “Arizona Avenue Muscle Car”?
A lot of eyes will be on Phoenix North Canyon High School’s star sprinter Jadyn “Jay-D” Mays next year to see if she can rival the high school career that former Chandler High legend Ky “The Arizona Avenue Muscle Car” Westbrook had during her four years in the Arizona prep ranks. Westbrook, red shirt sophomore, at the University of Southern California who three weeks ago finished eighth (11.2) in the women 100-meters at the NCAA Division I National Championships, is considered by most as the greatest girls’ track and field athlete yet produced by the Arizona prep ranks. She won eight sprint championships, taking Div. I state titles in the 100 and 200-meters all four years that she was ‘running-with-the-Wolves’ down on Arizona Avenue in Chandler.
Westbrook was a rare combination of speed and muscle.
She won the Div. I 200-meters her junior in 2013 with a blistering clocking of (23.39 seconds), which still stands as one of the fastest times ever run at a state meet in the lungs-punishing race. Also earlier that year Westbrook set the Arizona all-time girl’s record in the shot put with a throw of 47 feet, 9 inches. Former Chandler High standout Cindy Johnson had owned the old Arizona girl’s standard of 47-5 since 1980. As a freshman at Chandler High in 2011, Westbrook won two individual state titles and one relay (4×100) state crown, and finished 17th in the shot put (34-1) while pacing the Wolves to the Div. I team championship.
Mays put on a Westbrook-esque performance back in May at the Division II state championship meet.
The Rattler freshman won state titles in the 100-meters (12.4), 200-meters (25.8) and the long jump, where she posted a winning mark of 19 feet, 1.75 inches. Three days earlier, unlike the wind ravaged championship finals, she ran (11.8) in the 100 and (24.5) prelims. Mays picked up her fourth gold medal at her first state championship meet teamed, as the anchor leg, on a Rattler unit that included Dominique Mustin, Delphine Dah and Alexis Rios that joined to win the state crown in the 4×400 relay (3:55.5). The group teamed to run 3:54.0 in the prelims. Mays scored 30 individual points at the state meet to pace the Rattlers to their first girl’s track and field team championship. North Canyon edged Cave Creek Cactus Shadows 75-74 for the Div. II team title.
Mays, who arrived at North Canyon as a USA Track and Field age-group (13-14) national champion in the 200-meter hurdles while representing the Next Level Track Club, attracted attention early in the track and field season this spring.
At the Aztec Invitational on March 3 at Tempe’s Corona Del Sol High School, she registered a clocking of 24.5 in the 200. Seven days later at the Brophy Prep AMDG Invitational in Phoenix on March 10, she zipped to an 11.99 clocking in the 100.
The freshman sensation did not leave any doubt about what opposing sprinters were going to face when they stepped on the track with her this spring. At the nationally recognized Chandler Rotary Invitational at Chandler High School, Mays posted a clocking of 11.94 in the 100 and 24.1 in the 200.
At the Great Southwest Track and Field Classic last month in Albuquerque, she returned a favor to Chandler High’s star sprinter, Anaya Bailey, who defeated her in the 200 at the Chandler Rotary meet, by edging Bailey to win the 200 in (24.05) to the Wolves’ standout second-place posting of (24.10). Bailey won at Chandler with fine time of (24.07) to Mays’ second-place clocking of (24.19).
Mays was selected, over Bailey, in late May as the Arizona Girls Sprinter Of The Year by MileSplit Pro. Her clocking of 11.88 in the 100 prelims at the state championships was the second fastest time of the year for an Arizona girl in the 100 this season. Bailey ran 11.79 in the 100 prelims of the Div. I state championships.
Ky Westbrook simply had an amazing high school track and field career.
She won 100 (12.2) and 200-meters (24.6) in 20111, 20012 (11.4/24.10, 2013 (11.4/23.3), and 2014 (11.6/24.3). She captured the 2013 Div. I shot put state crown with a mark of 45.7.75). In 2014, she won Div. I state champ in the 100-meter hurdles with a clocking of 14.1. She led Chandler High to four straight Div. I girl’s team titles.