Cottonwood’s Allyson Arellano claims 3200-meter title in Great Southwest Classic

Cottonwood's Allyson Arellano won the Great Southwest Classic Saturday with a time of 11 minutes, 18.29 seconds. (Photo courtesy of Micah Swenson)

Cottonwood's Allyson Arellano won the Great Southwest Classic Saturday with a time of 11 minutes, 18.29 seconds. (Photo courtesy of Micah Swenson)

ALBUQUERQUE – Sometime today, stop what you are doing and visit the website milesplit.com (see link above). On the home page, look for a video titled “Kick of the Week.”

Maybe watch it twice and you’ll see why Cottonwood’s Allyson Arellano is arguably the finest prep female distance runner in Verde Valley history.

Arellano, who recently finished her senior year at Mingus Union High School, began her final push with 700 meters left in the 3200-meter run during last weekend’s Great Southwest Classic. With about 500 meters left in the race, Arellano had reeled in Texas runner Eva Jess and went on to win with a time of 11 minutes, 18.29 seconds. Jess finished second with an 11:30.03 clocking.

How fast Arellano would run Saturday was a secondary consideration to utilizing a race strategy that would guarantee a win, according to Arellano’s Aftershock Club Coach Micah Swenson.

“Our race plan for the night was the Mo Farah approach,” said Swenson, in reference to the Britain who is the most dominant distance runner on the planet. “Allyson was going to sit for the opening six laps and make a move somewhere on the penultimate lap … We knew the race plan wouldn't yield the fastest time Allyson could have run but it was designed to win the race in a decisive fashion.”

Decisive it was, as Arellano ended up putting a 12-second gap between herself and the runner from Texas.

Despite the impressive nature of the win, it was not Arellano’s fastest performance in distances ranging between 3000 meters and 2 miles. “She has gone 10:18 in the 3000 meters, which works out to 11:01 for 3200 meters,” said Swenson. “She was feeling really good Saturday night and probably could have broken 11 minutes but it wasn't the race plan.”

Depending on race conditions, Swenson said Arellano is targeting a sub 10-minute time for 3000 meters this coming weekend in the Arizona Jr. Olympics.

Arellano was also scheduled to run on Arizona’s 4-by-800-meter relay is Saturday’s GSW meet. That effort was aborted after one of her team members was on her way to the meet from a graduation earlier in the day and didn't arrive in time.

Next up for Arellano is the Arizona Jr. Olympics this weekend before she turns her attention to training for the fall Cross Country season.

Arellano’s effort in the 3200 Saturday was one of several showcase performances by Arizona athletes in Albuquerque Saturday. Those performances include:

North Canyon High School junior Tyrees Moulton finished third in the boys elite 400-meter dash with a new personal record best of 46.51 seconds. That time just missed the Arizona state record of 46.47 set by Desert Vista’s Spencer Chase in 2009. Moulton will go into his senior season next year with the No. 2 and 3 fastest times in state history and four entries among the 30 fastest times in Arizona history.

Desert Vista’s Elijah Mason finished second in the discus with a best effort of 198-feet, 9.5 inches. Mason is tied for the second best throw in Arizona history at 212-11. Canyon del Oro’s Turner Washington owns the state’s best throw with a 227-10 effort, which is the No. 4 throw in U.S. prep history. Washington has 10 of the 12 best throws in Arizona history.

Mason also finished third in the shot put with an outdoor seasonal best of 63-feet, 1.5 inches, just a half-inch off his best indoor throw. Another Arizonan, junior Tyson Jones of Desert Edge High School in Goodyear, was second in the shot put with a best throw of 64-6.5. His season’s best effort was 67-6.5, which is the fourth farthest throw in Arizona history. Dallas Long (North High) owns the state’s best at 69-3, established in 1958.

Tolleson’s multi-event threat Trey Johnson finished second in the boys 110-meter hurdles in 13.8 seconds. For Johnson, it was the fourth time this season he has broken the magic 14-second barrier, a feat accomplished by only 14 athletes in Arizona history. Johnson’s season best of 13.65 seconds is the sixth best time in state history behind five clockings recorded by former Brophy Prep star and 2016 U.S. Olympian Devon Allen.

North Canyon’s Jadyn Mays and Chandler’s Anaya Bailey went 2-3 in the girls 200 with respective times of 24.05 and 24.10 seconds.

Raymond S. Kellis’ Jae’Nisa Heckstall and Chandler’s Jai Gruenwald made huge moves on the girls all-time Arizona rankings in the 300-meter hurdles. The Arizona duo finished in the 2 and 3 positions at GSW and in the process moved past North Canyon’s Jasmine Stauffacher-Gray on the all-time Arizona list. Heckstall’s time of 42.23 seconds in now the third fastest ever recorded in Arizona and Gruenwald (42.24) is now No. 4 all time. Canyon del Oro’s Jaide Stepter, now a national-class open 400 and 400 hurdles specialist, has the two fastest times in Arizona history, both established in 2012.

Gruenwald also popped a massive personal record in the long jump (19-feet, 11.25 inches) to finish third at GSW and move into the No. 5 spot on Arizona’s all-time list.

Arizona’s state-record holder in the shot put, Kayleigh Conlon of Mountain Pointe High School, finished second in her specialty, with a best throw of 45-feet, 11.25 inches. Division IV state champion Hannah Ringel of Sedona-Red Rock was fourth in the event with a best throw of 42-4.25.

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