Tyson Jones re-writes state track history in shot put

Goodyear Desert Edge senior Tyson Jones currently owns 9 of the 12 farthest throws in Arizona history, including his national-leading mark of 70-feet, 4.5 inches. Photo courtesy AzCentral.com

Goodyear Desert Edge senior Tyson Jones currently owns 9 of the 12 farthest throws in Arizona history, including his national-leading mark of 70-feet, 4.5 inches. Photo courtesy AzCentral.com

Best prep throws in Arizona history

1) Tyson Jones, Desert Edge, 2018, 70-4.5

2) Tyson Jones, Desert Edge, 2018, 69-7.5 (indoors, unattached)

3) Tyson Jones, Desert Edge, 2018, 69-7.25

4) Dallas Long, North, 1958, 69-3

5) Tyson Jones, Desert Edge, 2018, 68-6

6) Tyson Jones, Desert Edge, 2018, 68-5

7) Tyson Jones, Desert Edge, 2017, 67-6.5

8) Tyson Jones, Desert Edge, 2018, 67-3

9) Dallas Long, North, 1958, 67-2

10) Dwight Johnson, Tempe, 1987, 67-0.5

Goodyear Desert Edge’s Tyson Jones is the undisputed big shot of Arizona High School track and field this season.

Emphasis on big: 6-feet, 5-inches tall and 295 pounds.

Equal emphasis on shot: that’s his event and no prep athlete in Arizona history has ever thrown the shot put farther than Tyson Jones.

In fact, Jones three times already this year has put the 12-pound ball farther than the epic 69-3 thrown by North High School legend Dallas Long.

Long’s best high school effort had stood as the Arizona state record for 60 years. His 69-3 throw was the U.S. national high school record from 1958-67 and was the springboard to an international career that saw him win Olympic Gold in 1964.

Including a throw in an indoor meet this year, Jones currently owns 9 of the 12 farthest throws in Arizona history, including his national-leading mark of 70-feet, 4.5 inches.

Other top marks this season

In other top performances across the state this year, Tucson Salpointe senior Andrew Ference is inching his way up the all-time leader list in the pole vault. Few Arizona athletes have shown more improvement in the past year than Ference, who had a season’s best jump in the pole vault in 2017 of 14-feet, 10-inches, according to athletic.net. In 2018, Ference opened his season with a 16-5.5 jump and at last week’s Chandler Rotary Invitational he topped the field with a leap of 16-8. The Arizona state record is 17-7, established last year by Valley Vista’s Cole Riddle.

Another highly impressive mark this year on the boy’s side is the 37.58-second clocking Mesa Westwood’s James Smith turned in at Saturday’s Chandler Rotary meet in the 300-meter hurdles. The mark breaks up the Brophy Prep stranglehold in this event on the all-time list. Smith’s time is the No. 9 performance in Arizona history, only trailing times established by Brophy Prep hurdlers Robert Grant, Devon Allen and Isaiah Oliver. Grant, now competing for Texas A&M, has the best time in state history at 36.24 and Brophy athletes own 11 of the 12 fastest times in state history in the event.

Arizona girls

Chandler’s Jai Gruenwald is Arizona’s best all-purpose track and field threat this year. The senior athlete leads the state lists in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and long jump and is ranked third this week in the triple jump. She has the third-best time in Arizona history in the 300 hurdles (42.24) and is the second-best long jumper in state annals at 20-feet, 2-inches.

A real shocker took place Saturday when North Canyon beat the Chandler girls in the 4X400 relay with a 3:46.99 performance in the Chandler Rotary meet. That time is the second best ever recorded in Arizona and it was a second and a half better than Chandler Saturday. Chandler owns 9 of the 12 fastest times in state history in the event.

Arizona Division 3

Mingus Union senior Hannah DeVore took over the state’s top Division 3 time in the 300 hurdles at Chandler Saturday with a 46.5-second clocking, her best time since a 46.98-second effort two years ago. DeVore also is ranked second in Division 3 this week in the 100-meter hurdles at 16.33 seconds. She is No. 5 in the 100-meter dash at 13.03 seconds, with freshman teammate Natalee Rogers ranked seventh at 13.07. She also moves up into the No. 7 postion in the state in the 200 (29.97) with her win at Brophy Prep Wednesday.

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A welcome addition to the Mingus girls team this year is freshman Natalee Rogers, who has the seventh-fastest Division 3 times in the state in the 100- and 200-meter meter dash events. VVN photo Vyto Starinakas.

DeVore and Rogers also have teamed with juniors Shelby Brenner and Meg Babcock for a 4:17.96 effort in the 4X400 relay, the third best mark in the state this week.

With two convinving wins at Brophy Prep Wednesday, Babcock is ranked third in the 400-meter dash this week, with a 61.3-second clocking. She is ranked first in the 800 at 2:19.97

For the Mingus boys, junior thrower Kendrew Streck is ranked second in the shot put at 47-feet, 8-inches, although he had a 49-foot-plus effort in a non-qualifying meet in Sedona. Streck is also ranked fourth in the state in the discus at 132-2.

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Mingus junior Meg Babcock is ranked first in the state at 800 meters and third in the 400-meter dash. VVN photo by James Kelley

Mingus senior Jonathan Jung is ranked 12th in the state this week in the triple jump at 41-feet.

Division 4 Boys

Arizona Division 4 rankings are littered with athletes from Sedona-Red Rock High School. So many, in fact, that the Scorpions have to be among the teams considered as a favorite to win the D4 state championship May 5.

Junior Evan Favorite leads the Sedona charge with top 10 marks in both sprints, the long jump and triple jump. Favorite is ranked second in the state in the 200-meter dash with a best time of 23.19 seconds. He is fifth in the 100 (11.53), sixth in the long jump (20-7) and eighth in the triple jump (39-8)

Other top performers for Sedona include smooth-striding senior Nathan Hoyer, who has a best time of 2:03 in the 800. Hoyer is also a key performer on two Sedona relay teams that are highly ranked in D4. The Sedona 4x400 team is ranked third in the state this week with a best time of 3:38.9. Likewise, the 4X800 Sedona quartet is ranked third in D4 with a best time of 8:47.94.

And, as is always the case at Sedona-Red Rock, the Scorpions sit atop the state rankings in the pole vault with juniors Forrest Hartley and Drake Ortiz with seasonal bests of 11-6.

Camp Verde’s only top-10 ranked athlete this week in D4 is junior Christopher Holdgrafer, who is ranked seventh in the triple jump at 40-feet, 2-inches. Holdgrafer is also a solid hurdler who should move up highly in the 100- and 300-meter hurdle events.

Division 4 Girls

Sedona senior Julie Koss continues to sit atop the state’s D4 rankings in the pole vault with a best jump of 10-feet. She is also ranked fifth in the discus at 100 feet.

Sedona senior Collier Trcic is ranked fourth in the long jump (15-4.5) and seventh in the triple jump (31-4).

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