Like so many high-school track & field athletes in Arizona, Ky Westbrook used the prestigious Chandler Rotary as a way to test herself against top talent as she works toward the state championships. But the senior sprinter from Chandler High School isn’t questioning her chances for more state titles this year after dominating the sprints since her freshman year.
And her performance at the Chandler Rotary over the weekend only confirmed the likelihood that she will leave high school without ever being beaten in either the 100m or 200m sprints in state tournament competition. Barring injury, this will be the fourth straight year she has won state titles in both events.
Westbrook won the 100 at the Rotary in 11.64 and the 200 in 24.45 – without even equaling last year’s winning times at the event. Last March she set a meet record in the 100, posting a time of 11.47 and setting the fastest time in the nation in the event, and also set a meet record in the 200, hitting a sizzling 23.64.
So, if she has to crank it up some to secure those final two state titles in May, the rocket thrust is there in reserve.
The 100 is her first time out this season in that event. She has been focused more on the 60 meters, which she entered a week ago at the New Balance National Indoor meet in New York and brought home a fifth-place in that event.
And last year she began adding field events to her repertoire. Before the season was over she had erased a 33-year-old state record in the shot put, throwing the iron 47’09” at the Chandler City Meet. Over the weekend, she threw the ball 42 feet for a second-place finish behind teammate Bianca Finn, who won it with a toss of 43’2″.
But Westbrook wasn’t the only Arizona athlete displaying their talents this year at the Chandler Rotary, which drew more than 3,000 participants from 126 schools. More than 30 schools traveled here from other states to compete in the biggest event leading up to the state finals.
Team scores are not kept at the Rotary, but Desert Vista High School was busy stacking up its share of top finishes. Makenzi Holmes-Digiovine won the girls’ discus with a throw of 133’05”, freshman Baylee Jones won the girls’ 3,200 meters in 10:55.31, and Vanessa Davis asserted her intention to repeat as the girls’ state pole vault champion by clearing 13 feet. And runner-up finishes went to Mason Swenson in the girls’ 800 meters (2:16.85),Damali Britton in the girls’ triple jump (36’8″), and Jakob Alme in the boys’ pole vault (15 feet).
Also making a big splash was Paul Lucas, the Mountain Pointe High School junior that broke a school and meet record in the 200 meters, posting a time of 20.91, and then missed another meet record by .03 seconds in winning the 100 (10.52).
Another meet record fell to a local athlete as Jasmine Stauffacher Gray, a junior at North Canyon High School, set a new mark in the girls’ 400 meters with a time of 54.69.
And Cade Burks from Perry High School burned up the track in the 800 meters, posting the fastest time in the nation for a sophomore (1:54.90) to win that event.
(Photo: AZtrackXC.com/ Margot Kelly)