CHANDLER – This undoubtedly is the “Year of the Throwers” in Arizona high school track and field and never was that more evident than in Saturday’s 77th annual Chandler Rotary Invitational.
First, Canyon del Oro senior Turner Washington added nearly three feet to the state discus record that at one time was among a handful of Arizona marks considered untouchable. Washington’s record throw of 215-feet, 8-inches eclipsed the prior mark of 212-11 by Tempe’s Dwight Johnson, a mark that had served as the best in Arizona history for 30 years.
Washington and Johnson collectively now have the 10 farthest throws in state history, and Turner currently has 8 of the 20 best throws in Arizona prep history.
What’s more, Saturday’s competition at Chandler marked the first time in Arizona interscholastic history that two athletes eclipsed the 200-foot barrier in the same competition. Desert Vista senior Elijah Mason finished second to Washington with a throw of 201-feet, 6-inches to become only the fifth prep athlete in Arizona history to exceed the 200-foot barrier in the discus.
There was more history made in the shot put as Washington and Mason joined Goodyear Desert Edge High School’s Tyson Jones to all shatter the former Chandler Rotary record of 60-feet, 9-inches by Highland’s Tomas Nevarro, a mark that had been on the books since 2003.
Mason finished third in the competition with a throw of 62-5, Washington was second at 64-6 and Jones unleashed the fourth best throw in Arizona history at 66-feet, 8-inches. Only a junior, Jones has now thrown over 60-feet three times this year. He is inching his way to perhaps the most revered record on the books: Dallas Long’s 59-year-old state record of 69-feet, 3-inches.
Long’s 69-3 effort stood as the national high school record from 1958 to 1967. In fact, Long broke the national record three times in 1958 and still today owns three of the five best throws in state history. He was a bronze medalist at the 1960 Olympics, the gold medalist in the 1964 Games and he tied or broke the world record six times between 1959 and 1964. He was ranked no lower than No. 6 in the world between 1958 and 1964 by Track and Field News.
Epic race between Schadler and Oakley
Saturday’s highly anticipated showdown between Arizona Rio Rico senior Allie Schadler and Colorado phenom Brie Oakley saw the two athletes end up sharing the podium in a race that strangely saw them both win and lose at the same time.
Chandler Rotary electronically marks finish lines for both 1600 meters and the mile in this annual showcase race. In an epic stretch run by Schadler and Oakley, the Arizona runner was first across the finish line at 1600 meters – by a mere 4 one-hundredths of a second – only to see Oakley make it first to the mile mark by 1 one-hundredth of a second.
Schadler’s stature in Arizona track and field is such that almost any race in which she competes becomes historically significant. This race against Oakley was no exception. Her winning time at 1600 meters -- 4:45.39 -- was the third best time ever in Arizona, trailing only one of her own times and the state record by former Desert Vista standout Dani Jones (4:44.46).
Likewise, her 4:46.98 clocking in the mile is the seventh best mark in Arizona history. Schadler (6), Jones (8) and 1970s-era legend Kathy Gibbons (2) own the 16 fastest mile times ever recorded by an Arizona girl.
New star on Arizona track horizon
It’s not that Tolleson Union High School senior Trey Johnson was flying under the radar. His prior 100-meter best of 10.75 seconds and 110-meter hurdles best of 14.26 seconds are indeed formidable performances.
But Saturday night the sprint-hurdle specialist made a quantum leap and dominated both events. He easily outclassed a loaded field in the 100 meters with a 10.57-second clocking. He did the same in the hurdles with a scintillating 13.65-second performance to become the second-fastest high school performer in Arizona history. His 13.65 clocking has only been bettered five times, all by former Brophy Prep standout and 2016 U.S. Olympian Devon Allen, who was on hand Saturday to congratulate Johnson on his performance.
Arizona High School Discus 200-Foot Club
Turner Washington, CDO, 2017, 215-8
Dwight Johnson, Tempe, 1987, 212-11
Jim “Skip” Howard, Arcadia, 1971, 201-7
Elijah Mason, Desert Ridge, 2017, 201-6
Doug Reynolds, Greenway, 1993, 200-9
Note: Overall, Turner has seven throws over 200 feet in 2016-2017. Johnson had six in his career, all in 1987.
Arizona All-Time Best Marks in Shot Put
Dallas Long, North, 1958, 69-3*
Dallas Long, North, 1958 , 67-2
Dwight Johnson, Tempe, 1987, 67-0.5
Tyson Jones, Desert Edge, 2017, 66-8
Dallas Long , North, 1958, 66-1.5
Larry Hendershot, Washington, 1962, 65-6
Jim Camp, Paradise Valley, 1982, 64-11.50
Tyson Jones, Desert Edge, 2017, 64-11.5
Turner Washington, CDO, 2017, 64-10.50
Dwight Johnson, Tempe, 1987, 64-7.75
*National high school record at the time. Long lowered the high school national record three times in 1958 with his 69-3 standing as the US prep record until 1967. He was a bronze medalist at 1960 Olympics; gold medalist at 1964 Olympics. Long tied or broke the World Record six times between 1959 and 1964. He was ranked no lower than No. 6 in the world in the event between 1958 and 1964 by Track and Field News.
Arizona All-Time best times in girls 1600 meters
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2015, 4:44.46
Allie Schadler, Rio Rico, 2015, 4:45.15
Allie Schadler, Rio Rico, 2017, 4:45.39
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2015, 4:48.73
Allie Schadler, Rio Rico, 2016, 4:49.03
Sara Gorton, Mtn. Pointe, 1999, 4:49.11
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2014, 4:49.12
Arizona All-Time best times in girls mile
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2015, 4:39.88
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2015, 4:41.35
Allie Schadler, Rio Rico, 2015, 4:43.18
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2014, 4:43.40
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2015, 4:44.90i
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2015, 4:46.17
Allie Schadler, Rio Rico, 2017, 4:46.98
Kathy Gibbons, Phx. Alhambra, 1971, 4:48.80*
Allie Schadler, Rio Rico, 2015, 4:49.37
Allie Schadler, Rio Rico, 2015, 4:49.45
Allie Schadler, Rio Rico, 2016, 4:49.50*
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2014, 4:50.41
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2014, 4:50.49
Danielle Jones, Desert Vista, 2014, 4:50.81
Kathy Gibbons, Phx. Alhambra, 1972, 4:51.20i
Allie Schadler, Rio Rico, 2016, 4:51.24
* Kathy Gibbons is often credited with a 4:39.40 mile, which is a conversion from 1500 meter time
Kathy Gibbons was the US National Indoor champion in the mile in 1970. She was also the 1971 US National Champion at 1500 meters. She was a junior in high school.
* July 2016, U.S. Olympic Trials high school exhibition race