For the past couple of years, Jessica Tonn has pretty much owned high school distance races in Arizona. She just won another state 5A-I title in the 3200m run – her fourth consecutive.
But the senior at Xavier Prep, who ran undefeated in cross-country competition the last two years, is about to hang up her high school spikes for a new pair at Stanford. However, she got something started at Xavier that will carry on after her.
The Gators took three of the top four spots in the girls’ 3200m at the state championships. And they also claimed six of the top 15 finishes.
Tonn is leaving, but Xavier will continue to come at the competition in the distance races in waves, with freshman Sarah Fakler leading the way for the next three years. Fakler finished in third place (10:57.95), just 12 seconds behind Kristi Rush (10:45.91) from Highland HS in Gilbert. Daylee Burr gave Xavier a fourth-place finish with a time of 11:09.57.
Rounding out the Xavier runners in the top 15 were Breanna Perrone in eighth place, Christian Andreen finishing 13th and Kate Yanish in 15th. Fakler and Perrone are freshmen, while the other three are juniors.
In the girls’ 3200m in 5A-II, Lauren Cooper, a junior from Ironwood Ridge in Tucson, won the race in 11:14.06. Lacey Kalinen from Pinnacle HS took second (11:17.99) and third place went to Rachel Gutknecht from Sandra Day O’Connor HS (11:23.20).
While we’re on the subject of domination, Desert Vista HS completely overwhelmed the girls’ field in the 5A-I pole vault competition. The Pioneers placed in six of the top seven spots, with senior Shaylah Simpson defending her state title by clearing 12’6″.
Her teammate, Heather Arseneau, claimed second place with a jump of 11’6″ and Kaitlin Silcox from Desert Ridge HS came in third by also clearing 11’6″, but in more attempts than Silcox. The next four places went to Desert Vista: Lindsay Jantzi (11’3″), Courtney Reginato and Kylie Harmon in a tie for fifth, and Emily Heisler in seventh (11’0″).
All six are seniors this year, but, like Xavier, they will still be coming in waves next year. The Desert Vista pole vault team had 43 athletes turn out this year to compete – reportedly the largest high school pole vault team in the country.
Other highlights from Thursday’s competition…
Steve Magnuson, who won this year’s 5A-II cross-country title, had no trouble defending his 5A-II title in the 1600m run, leaving the rest of the field behind at the halfway mark and coasting to a 4:19.82 finish. The senior from Ironwood Ridge HS in Tucson, who is ranked No. 2 in the state in the 1600, also picked up the championship in the 800m with a time of 1:53.70.
Magnuson will be lacing them up for North Carolina next year.
Tommy Williams, a junior from Brophy Prep, won the boys’ 1600 in 5A-I with a time of 4:21.10 and Julio Martinez from Trevor Browne HS claimed the title in the 800m with a 1:54.74 finish.
Also in the field events, the brother-sister act of Jasmine and Lewis Todd picked up a couple of titles. Jasmine, the regional champion, reached a personal record in the long jump of 19’11”. Lewis snagged the title in the triple jump with a 46’03.50″ mark. Jasmine will defend her 2009 triple jump title today.
Xavier also ran well in the relays, clocking the fastest time of the day in the 4×800 with a time of 9:20.53, and then finished second in the 4×400 with a time of 3:56.84. Chandler HS was a couple of seconds faster, claiming the title with a time of 3:54.05.
(Photo: Milesplit/Margot Kelly)