The Chandler High School boys’ track & field program has begun showing it can hold up its end of the dynasty-building. For the second straight year, Chandler swept the Division I state titles, with the girls claiming their 11th team championship in the last 12 years and the boys picking up their third in the last six years.
A dropped baton in the 4×400 relay was the only thing that kept the girls’ program from stringing together 12 straight titles. They lost the 2015 championship in the final event of the state meet when the loss in the 4×400 relay cost the team 10 points. Mountain Pointe High School won that year by seven points.
This year, the Wolves won all three relays to help build a team score of 187 points to wash away the rest of the competition.
It was the final relay of the event that had drawn the interest of the entire state. The 4×400 team of LeMeyah Charlton, Anna Foreman, Armani Harris, and Anaya Bailey had already set the state record for the event three times this season and everyone was watching to see if they could do it one more time. The foursome finished in a sizzling time of 3:52, which was good enough for the state title but not another record. Their record of 3:46.14, set at the Arcadia Invitational, will stand.
The Chandler boys’ team also used the 4×400 to clinch their nail-biting team win, but didn’t win the event. Desert Vista High School won the race, but Chandler’s second-place finish gave the Wolves enough points to squeeze out 100 total team points and leave Desert Vista with runner-up honors with 98 points.
A couple of individual first-place finishes went a long way toward helping the boys’ team with the championship win. TJ Green clocked a winning time of 14.15 seconds in the 110 hurdles to secure his second straight state title in that event. Later in the day he also stepped in to run a leg of the 4×100 relay team, which posted a winning time of 41.03.
Edwin Adams added one more individual title, winning the 300 hurdles in a time of 38.45.
The girls’ team collected more than its share of individual victories, posting winning performances in six running events and two field contests, and getting big boosts from three multiple-title winners.
Individual winners included Anaya Bailey in the 100 dash (12.23) and 200 dash (26.20), Morgan Foster in the 800 (2:12.14) and 1,600 meters (4:52.79), Jai Gruenwald in the 100 hurdles (15.03) and 300 hurdles (44.17), Tiana Poirer-Shelton in the triple jump (40’1 1/2″) and Jai Gruenwald in the long jump (19’7 3/4″).
Outside of Division I, the biggest spotlight fell on Allie Schadler in Division III who was wrapping up one of the most dominant high school careers in the distance events. A week ago, she was named the azcentral.com Female Athlete of the Year.
The senior from Rio Rico High School in the Santa Cruz Valley won four straight cross country titles and set a new state record in the 3,200 meters earlier this season. Her time of 4:45.39 in the 1,600 meters was just a couple of strides off the state record of 4:44.46 in that event, and fans were hoping to see her erase that mark as well.
A strong wind kept times down this year for all events, and it slowed Schadler to a 5:8.20 finish, good enough for another state title, but far short of a new record. She skipped the 3,200, where she set a new state record at the Arcadia Invite, to run the 400 – and added a state title in that event (58.02) to her burgeoning resume.
And just for good measure, she ran a leg of the winning 4×800 relay – which also featured her younger sister, Samantha. The sophomore will have big footprints to step into next year as she helps fill the void left by her sister’s graduation.