A decisive victory in what is arguably track’s most exciting event capped off an impressive showing for Maricopa High School in the Arizona Track & Field Championships.
The boys’ 4×100-meter relay team fulfilled its own expectations of itself with both the gold and a school record. The squad of Longman Pyne, Jacob Cowing, P.J. Austin and Frank Jones won the Division II competition in 41.51, which bested all teams in all divisions Saturday.
“We ran the fastest overall time in the state, beating even the D1 teams. It’s just an amazing feeling,” Jones said.
The win earned hugs from head coach Sheldon Hutchinson, who noted it was his first state champion relay team.
Their previous fastest time had been 43.35. Cowing is the only junior among seniors on the team. The same team combination placed third last year.
Austin was coming off a second-place performance in the long jump, leaping 23-2. He later finished seventh in the 200-meter dash in 22.19.
Meanwhile, junior Logan Taylor is already looking forward to next year after solid runs in his two hurdling events. Taylor earned a place on the medal stand in the 110-meter high hurdles by finishing fourth in 14.83. He then set a school record in the 300-meter hurdles by hitting 39.66 while finishing fifth.
“I didn’t place, but that wasn’t the goal going into it,” Taylor said. “It was to PR [set a personal record], and to get the school record. I succeeded in what I went into the race to do.”
Senior Devin Parady placed ninth in the triple jump in 42-6.75 and was 17th in the javelin throw in 132-3. Junior Tylen Coleman was 12th in the discus throw in 142-8 and in the shot put in 45-5. He was 19th in javelin with 124-5.
Maricopa girls had a tougher go. Only junior Shannon Coutré made it to Saturday’s finals, setting another school record in the 400 in the process. But in the final, she was one of two girls injured and was unable to finish.