The breeze has a worthy companion in Jasmine Stauffacher-Gray.
She glides along the track at Phoenix North Canyon as one of the state’s top performers in the 400, 200 and the 300 hurdles.
She is the defending state champion in the 400 and finished third in the 200 as a sophomore in 2013, with more success is sure to come.
Stauffacher-Gray has the top times in the state this year in the 400 (54.69) and the 300 hurdles (42.27).
“I have had a lot of support from my family and friends and teammates. They have pushed me and motivated me to keep improving, to do better,’’ said Stauffacher-Gray, who will be competing with her teammates in the Paradise Valley Unified School District Meet on Wednesday (April 23) at Phoenix Horizon.
The 400 is her best event, with which she has had the most experience.
“I’ve been doing the 400 for a long time,’’ she said. “The hurdles are more recent. I was joking around with my dad one day and told him I was going to try it. I did try it and I enjoyed it.’’
She likes the 400 because it isn’t quite a distance race yet is somewhat more than a sprint.
“In the 400, there seems to be more strategy. It seems more competitive,’’ she said. “It’s exciting. The leads can change quickly, so you have to be ready for anything.’’
Stauffacher-Gray also competes in relay events – she enjoys the team aspect – and occasionally will try the long jump.
She also is making strides in the classroom. She is involved with the International Baccalaureate program, which offers different perspectives on subjects around the world. It includes community service.
The long-range goal is to compete in college, but Stauffacher-Gray figures she will have plenty of time to decide which college is the best fit.
For now, she is focusing on the upcoming state meet.
“I’m excited to be able to be in it,’’ she said. “I’ve been training a long time for this, and I want to do the best I can.’’