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Track & Field

Senior Tylen Coleman was the first surprise for Maricopa High School at the state championships with a record-setting discus throw Saturday. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Two unexpected finishes put gold medals in the hands of two Maricopa High School athletes while a third won silver and bronze at the Arizona Interscholastic Association Division II Track & Field Championships Saturday in Mesa.

Senior Tylen Riley-Coleman, who had already been on the medal stand earlier in the week with a fourth-place finish in shot put, pulled off a massive upset in the discus. His second-flight throw of 172-08 was more than 20 feet farther than his previous best of 150-09 and more than three inches farther than his closest competitor in the finals.

“I don’t know where that came from,” said Coleman, who had yelled in elation after hearing the measurement. “I’m just blessed.”

In the first round of competition Saturday, he had been more than thrilled with a throw of 163 feet, which came between two fouled attempts. But the second-round throw catapulted him to the top of the medal stand, an unfamiliar position for the football star.

“I don’t know what to do with myself,” he said.

Even in practice, he said, he had not gone beyond 150 feet with the discus. In fact, shot put has usually been his stronger event. Parker Bays of Ironwood Ridge had been a heavy favorite but finished third.

By scoring a personal best in the discus, Coleman set another school record. He also holds the MHS record in shot at 52-9.

At any other time, MHS senior Logan Taylor’s result in the hurdling events would not have been surprising, but Saturday was not like any other time.

Taylor, the school record-holder in both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles, had finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in those events in last season’s state championships. His goal was gold this year.

That seemed to get scuttled this week when he opened a gash on his right knee that required 20 stitches. His family and head coach Corey Nelson left it to him to decide if he would compete in the state meet.

Taylor is known for challenging himself and did so again in the 110-meter hurdles, shouting out as he crossed the finish line in front. Main rival Jadon Pearson of Williams Field had crashed out midway through the event and did not finish.

“I wanted to run my best race,” Taylor said. “It was probably going to be the last one, so I wanted to make sure it was good. I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

It was also one of his better times, in 14.64, just off his best of 14.56.

The knee, however, did not hold up through his effort in the 300-meter hurdles. Though he leaped out to an early lead, he struggled down the stretch to finish sixth in 41.07 (his top time is 39.09). His father helped him off the ground at the finish line and to the trainer’s tent for treatment.

Meanwhile, MHS’s sprint master Jacob Cowing, who earned gold last year as part of the Rams 4×100-meter relay team, had his hands full with Trayvion White of Sahuaro. In the 100-meter dash finals Saturday, Cowing matched White stride for stride but finished second at 10.78 behind White’s 10.73.

In the 200-meter dash, White, Jacob Samford and Cowing all finished within a fraction of a second. White won in 21.65, while Cowing came third in 21.95. After picking up his medal, he had his right thigh wrapped in ice.

Overall, Maricopa’s boys’ team scored 27 points in the state meet, a top five finish.

The girls’ team did not score points but had two make a good showing Saturday. Senior Kayla Boich was 12th in the high jump finals at 5-00. Sophomore Shakira Gillespie finished 15th in the long jump at 15-10.5.

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Tylen Riley-Coleman. Photo by Victor Moreno


Tylen Riley-Coleman, a senior at Maricopa High School, finished fourth in the shot put finals at the Arizona Interscholastic Association state championships Wednesday.

Coleman threw the shot 50-10.5 against his Division II competition. He also finished 10th in the javelin with a throw of 149-07.

Coleman will compete Saturday in the discus finals.

Other Rams competing in state finals Wednesday were junior Katherine Gores, who finished 11th in the girls’ javelin with a throw of 95-10, junior Steel Lewis, 10th in boys’ pole vault in 11-09, and senior Logan Taylor, 13th in boys’ high jump at 5-10.

Athletes also competed in preliminary heats of several events to earn places in Saturday’s finals.

Jacob Cowing. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Senior Jacob Cowing was third fastest in both the 100-meter dash (10.89) and the 200 (21.93) to qualify for the finals, where he will meet top rival Trayvion White of Sahuaro.

Taylor was sixth-fastest in the boys’ 300-meter hurdles prelims in 40.16 to qualify for the finals. He will also compete in the 110-meter hurdles finals after running 15.58 to finish eighth-fastest.

Other MHS athletes who represented MHS Wednesday at the state meet were Amante Williams, 15th in the boys’ 400-meter dash (51.07), Tayler Riley-Coleman, 23rd in the girls’ 100-meter hurdles (17.28), the girls 4×100-meter relay team (14th in 50.82) and 4×400-meter relay team (12th in 4:13.29).

Saturday, for Maricopa, competition begins at 11:30 a.m. with the boys’ discus throw. Afternoon finals include 110-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash, 300-meter hurdles and 200-meter dash. The Arizona State Track & Field Championship are at Mesa Community College, 1833 W. Southern Ave.


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Jacob Cowing and P.J. Austin show off their gold medals.


The Arizona Interscholastic Association hosted the State Track and Field Championships on May 2-5 at Mesa Community College. The Maricopa High School boys finished seventh in the team standings, and the girls placed 36th. May 10, some participated in the Arizona Meet of Champions. The following athletes set a school, meet and/or state records in their events during the 2018 season:

Boys at State
Longman Pyne, Jacob Cowing, Phillip “P.J.” Austin, Francois (Frank) Jones, 4×100 Relay: 41.51 (best of meet, school record and 1st place)
Phillip “P.J.” Austin, senior, long jump: 24-1.25 (school record and 2nd place)
Logan Taylor, junior, 110-meter high hurdles: 14.64 (school record and 4th place)
Logan Taylor, junior, 300-meter low hurdles: 39.66 (school record and 5th place)

Logan Taylor

Girls at State
Shannon Coutré, junior, 400-meter dash: 58.82 (school record and qualified for final)
Italy Brookshire, junior, high jump: 5-2 (school record and seventh place)
Sydni Callis, Destinee Chavis, Jakayla Shaw, Shannon Coutré, 4×100 Relay: 50.30 (school record)

Shannon Coutre

Boys at Meet of Champions
Phillip “P.J.” Austin, senior, long jump: 24-1.25 (1st place)
Longman Pyne, Jacob Cowing, Phillip “P.J.” Austin, Francois (Frank) Jones, 4×100 Relay: 41.86 (1st place)
Logan Taylor, junior, 110-meter high hurdles: 14.74 (3rd place)

Girls at Meet of Champions
Italy Brookshire, junior, high jump: 5-2 (second place)

Boys 2018 Season
Jacob Cowing, junior, 100-meter dash: 10.87 (school record)
Francois (Frank) Jones, senior, 200-meter dash: 21.75 (school record)
Tylen Riley-Coleman, junior, shot put: 49-2.5 (school record and qualified for state)
Tylen Riley-Coleman, junior, discus: 144-4 (school record and qualified for state)
Devin Parady, senior, javelin: 152-0 (school record and qualified for state)
Samual Coles, senior, pole vault: 12-10 (school record and qualified for state)

Girls 2018 Season
Zanaa Ramirez, sophomore, 1-mile run: 6:28.15 (school record)
Tayler Riley-Coleman, sophomore, 100-meter intermediate hurdles: 17.52 (school record)
Ashlynn Jones, Zanaa Ramirez, Jakayla Shaw, Shannon Coutré, 4×400 Relay: 4:15.82 (school record and qualified for state)
Isabella Moe, sophomore, javelin: 85-4 (school record)

This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Senior Terrell Handy flies to a personal best 47-1.50 in the triple jump to win the Division II state title. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Terrell Handy soared farther than he ever has, and Maricopa High School came away from the state Division II Track & Field Championships with gold, silver and bronze medals in a team fourth-place finish.

Even in practice, Handy, a senior, had never reached the 47-foot mark in the triple jump. In fact, his personal best this year was 44-10.

But inspired by a huge, late challenge from a competitor (and the silver medal won earlier in the week by his twin brother Darrell in the high jump), he bested himself and everyone else Saturday with a leap of 47-1.5 to win the state championship at Mesa Community College.

From his first jump, Terrell Handy threw down the gauntlet and took the lead with a jump of 45-5, completely new territory for him.

“I had to set the tone,” he said wryly afterward. That sent him into the final eight, and left behind his brother in a surprising reversal.

Then Marana’s Dominic Gehr put up 45-11 in his final jump. Obliterating Handy’s new personal best, that could have taken the wind out of his sails, but his response was the opposite.

“It just motivates me more,” he said.

In his last jump, getting no help from a gusty side wind, Handy put to good use the step work he had been practicing with coach Sheldon Hutchinson to claim the gold medal.

Marcus Naisant of Marcos de Niza finished third with a jump of 45-9.5. Tempe’s Deandre Hughes, who had Division II’s best jump this season coming into the championships (47-5.75), finished fourth at 45-4.25. Darrell Handy’s jump of 43-9.5 was good enough for 10th.

Darrell Handy already had his medal, finishing second in Wednesday’s high jump final. He equaled his season best 6-foot-8. That was behind only Canyon del Oro’s Cameron Crandall, who leaped 7 feet. Terrell Handy was shy of his best in that event, finishing sixth at 6-2.

Maricopa athletes claimed bronze medals by taking third in Saturday’s boys 4×100-meter relay.

In the preliminaries, the team of P.J. Austin, Longman Pyne, Jacob Cowing and Frank Jones posted the sixth-best time of 43.09 to earn a place in the final. The MHS relay team’s previous best time of 43.03 ranked them fifth in the state. That did not predict what happened in the final.

Running in Lane 8, the Rams stayed on pace with Queen Creek, which had the lead from the first exchange. Queen Creek went on to win in 42.07 with Cienega just behind in 42.32. With the rest of the relay team running across the field to cheer on Jones in his anchor leg, Maricopa put up its best time of 42.76 for the bronze.

“It was fast,” Pyne said of their unprecedented time. “We always knew we had it [in us].”

Earlier in the meet, Austin finished fifth in the long jump, while Darrell Handy was sixth.

Among the girls, sophomore Italy Brookshire qualified for the high jump final. While not making the finals in the 400-meter dash, sophomore Shannon Coutre lowered her personal record and school record during the preliminaries to 1:00.34.



Division II (43 schools)

1) North Canyon 53.5
2) Canyon del Oro 43
3) Campo Verde 34
4) Maricopa 33.5
5) Desert Edge 33

School records: Terrell Handy, boys triple jump, 47-1.5; P.J. Austin, boys long jump, 23-1.75; Shannon Courtre, girls 400-meter dash, 1:00.34; P.J. Austin, Longman Pyne, Jacob Cowing, Frank Jones, boys 4×100-meter relay, 42.76