About the only that changes each year when the Arizona high school track & field championships are run is Chandler High‘s winning score for its girls’ team. And for 14 of the last 15 years, that score has added up to one-after-another state title.
The Wolves scored an impressive 154.50 points for this year’s title win. But as impressive as that was, it wasn’t as good as its last performance when Chandler won the 2019 title with a staggering 189 points.
That’s how deep with talent this team is, year after year.
As usual, the second-place finisher was left far behind in the dust. And both times it was Highland High that had to settle for a runner-up trophy.
In 2019, the last year the state competition was held due to the 2020 cancellation as a result of the pandemic, the Hawks scored 75.5 points. This year the Gilbert school managed to put together 83 team points. But even Highland is light years from overtaking the perennial champ.
Chandler can almost always count on at least one star performer stepping forward to provide the momentum for the rest of the team. This year it was Trinity Henderson.
Henderson and teammate Jocelyn Johnson combined for a 1-2 sweep in the 400 meters event, with Henderson earning the gold with a time of 55.37 and Johnson finishing just off her shoulder in 55.54.
Henderson also won a third consecutive gold in the 200 meters (23.93) and a repeat individual title in the 100 dash with a time of 11.82. The junior had to really work for the 100 medal, since Highland’s Lainey Jones was close enough at the tape for a photo finish. The sophomore took second place with a time of 11.88.
Chandler added another sweep, this time in the triple jump where Sheena Cumberbatch won the event by clearing 37’4″ and Kaliyah Holt was behind at 37 feet.
The Chandler boys’ team made it a team sweep, defending their 2019 title by scoring 84 points, enough to slide past Desert Vista HS, which totaled 61.5 points for the runner-up finish. That second-place finish was the result of a razor-thin margin over third-place Red Mountain HS, which tallied 61 points.