The 74th Chandler Rotary Track and Field Invitational will not be short on potential record breakers both in and out of Arizona.
Meet director Dave Shapiro's recent count shows 126 schools registered (33 from out of state and many from snowed in Colorado) in the recently revamped, non-scoring meet which turns the spotlight on individual efforts on the track or in the field. That twist allows many of the top competitors to enter one or two events rather than three or four if team scored.
The meet is conducted in three sessions starting Friday March 21 with the Open Invitational. The Open Invite begins at noon with field events and 12:30 with lane events. The second and third sessions are Saturday March 22. The Seeded Invitational begins with field events at 9 a.m. and lane events at 10 a.m. The Elite Invitational is in the afternoon. Field events begin at 4 p.m. and lane events at 4:45 p.m.
Here's a list of athletes and events to watch -- by no means exhaustive -- come Saturday's elite-seeded competition. Shapiro notes 12 to 15 meet records could fall from that final session.
1,600: Nathan Rodriguez, Corona del Sol; Cerake Geberkidane, Denver East; Jackson Carter, Centennial, Las Vegas, Nev.; Jose Pacheco, California High, Whittier, Calif. Discus: Reno Tuufuli, Liberty High, Nev.; Beau Eggers, Hamilton; Jordan Rezac, Desert Vista and Jeremy Franklin, Serra (Gardenia, Calif.). Several are capable of surpassing 180 feet.. High jump: Bryan O'Georgia, North Canyon; Vincent Calhoun, Long Beach Poly. Vincent cleared 6-11 as California's state runner-up. A leap of 7-0 is certainly not out of the question and has occurred just once in meet history. 300 hurdles: Bobby Grant, Brophy Prep; Elijah Williams, Hamilton; Juan Ward, Long Beach Poly. Times under 38 seconds possible.
Others of note: Paul Lucas, Mountain Pointe. Shooting for possible state record in the 100. Adoree Jackson, Serra. Top long jumper in the nation last year jumping 25 feet. KeAndre Bates, Burgess High, El Paso, Texas. Tops in the nation in triple jump (has jumped 51 feet). Also has gone 6-8 in high jump and better than 23 feet in long jump.
100 High hurdles: Dior Hall, George Washington, Denver. Colo; Kymber Payne and Ebony Crear, Long Beach Poly; Ashlee Moore, Hamilton; Jasmine Graham, East Roosevelt (Corona, Calif.). Six competitors in event have run under 14 seconds. Hall recently set a national indoor record in the 60 hurdles. 1600: Danielle Jones, Desert Vista; Shelby Brown, Xavier; Sydney Badger, Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.); Darby Gilfillan, George Washington HS, Denver, Colo.; Katie Rainsberger, Air Academy, Colo.. A time approaching 4:50 wouldn't be surprising. Shot put: Ashlie Blake, Liberty High, Henderson, Nev;. Ky Westbrook, Chandler. Bianca Finn and Heather Calandra, Mingus and Jessica Neff, Snowflake. Blake has thrown over 52 feet indoors. Westbrook has a top throw of 47-9. Plenty of athletes inthe field can throw 40 feet or better.
Others of note: Payton Miller, Golden High, Colo. Ran 400 last year in 54.9. Tianna Bond, Centennial, Las Vegas, Nev. Top-10 ranked nationally last year in 300 hurdles.
9 indvidual champs return to defend titles: Four boys and five girls. Boys returning champs -- Paul Lucas, Mountain Pointe (100 meters and long jump; Juan Ward, Long Beach Poly (110 high hurdles); Bobby Grant, Brophy Prep (300 hurdles); Vince Calhoun, Long Beach Poly (high jump). Girls returning champs: Ky Westbrook, Chandler (100 meters and 200 meters); Imani Adams, Chandler (400 meters); Kymber Payne, Long Beach Poly (hurdles); Ashlee Moore, Hamilton (high jump and long jump); Kayla Melgar, Tempe High (discus).
For additional breakdowns of events and other meet information check out www.chandlerrotarytm.com.