Gold medals, school records abound at Ram Invitational


Maricopa High School track and field set one school record, and 17 season best times and distances (nine by the boy’s team and eight by the girl’s) at the Ram Invitational at Maricopa High School on Saturday.

On the boy’s side of the track, senior Kenny Gay led the charge by winning a silver medal and setting a new school record for the boy’s triple jump by leaping 41 feet 9.5 inches. He also received a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles by finishing in 15.47 seconds.

The 4×800-meter relay followed Gay’s lead by running a season best 8:36.04 en route to the gold medal, and freshman Longman Pyne set a season best time in the 400-meter dash when he finished in 54.63 seconds. Pyne also received a bronze medal.

Senior Elisha Donaldson set season bests in the 200-meter dash (23.53 seconds) and the long jump (19 feet 5.5 inches), where he finished fourth and seventh respectively. Longman Pyne set another season best when he cleared 5 feet 2 inches in the high jump, also finishing in seventh.

Sophomore John Blodgett asserted himself as a serious contender for the 3200-meter run when he ran a season best 11:18.98 to take the bronze medal. Senior Zach Chamberlain (who won a gold medal as part of the 4×800 meter relay team) became the first Ram to place in the pole vault event this season. He set a season best when he cleared 8 feet.

“We’ve had a lot of good performances today,” boy’s head coach Brad Chamberlain said. “We haven’t had a pole vaulter score in a meet in years, and Zach Chamberlain got fourth. I also saw freshman Longman Pyne really gut out a 400 and take third.”

Along with the records, Maricopa athletes also brought home plenty of medals. Gay added to his medal count by taking home a silver medal in the 300-meter hurdles. The only person who outran Gay in the event was teammate William Blocker, a senior. Blocker took home gold in the  hurdles with a time of 42.02 seconds.

Other medalists include Donaldson in the 100-meter dash (bronze), and senior Alan Potter in the 1600-meter run (bronze). The 4×400-meter relay team featuring Chamberlain, Blocker, Jesse Gaines and Potter won the silver medal, and the 4×800-meter relay team featuring Chamberlain, Gaines, Potter, and Chris Hedberg won the gold.

Aside from the top performances, 20 athletes on the boy’s team set personal records. Gay and Pyne saw the most improvement with each athlete setting three personal records. However, every non-relay event saw an athlete set a new personal record as well.

The girl’s team saw some tremendous performances as well, but their field athletes shined. Junior Mysia Hudson set season bests in both shot put and discus. Hudson threw 29 feet 8 inches in the shot put to take the silver medal, and 72 feet 5 inches in the discus to take sixth overall.

Freshman Teresa Flores took the bronze medal and set a season best for the 3200-meter run with a finishing time of 16:38:36. Senior Hannah Hasan joined in on the record setting day by leaping to a season best distance in the long jump. Hasan jumped 9 feet 5 inches and finished 11th overall.

It was a good afternoon for 2014 state qualifier Jada Wright as well. The junior took the gold medal in the 800-meter run, and ran a season best 6:21.16 in the 1600-meter run. She took fourth overall in the event.

Senior sprinter Savannah Rogers also had a stellar afternoon earning points in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. She took the bronze medal in the 100 meter dash, and set a season best time in the 200 at 28.18 seconds. Rogers finished fourth overall in the event.

Outside of the medalists, 11 other girl’s team athletes were able to set personal records.

In the overall points total, the boy’s team competition was very competitive. Maricopa High School edged out Seton Catholic High School by just 10 points (115.5 – 105.5) to take the victory on their home track.

***ADVERTISEMENT***On the girl’s side, Saguaro High School took the team victory in what was a competitive competition as well. Saguaro won with 78 points, Tempe Preparatory Academy finished second with 69.5 points, Seton Catholic took third with 68 points, and Maricopa finished fourth with 53 points.

Both boy’s and girl’s teams showed tremendous improvement from previous meets. Coaches and players will look to build on this momentum as the teams push forward to the state meet.