MESA — The state track meet is like none other.

The packed stands at Mesa Community College, the multiple teams from multiple divisions and the atmosphere are not like any typical Wednesday meet during the season or a Saturday afternoon invitational.

It’s a meet that is an entirely different animal. and on Friday that animal took a bite out of Poston Butte, which faltered on the biggest stage of the year.

“It was a rough day for us — not our typical outing,” Poston Butte coach Brendan McMaster said. “A lot of people have never been in this type of environment — with this many people in the stands. I think the moment got the best of us.”

The defining moment for the Broncos came in the boys 4x100 relay when a dropped baton caused Poston Butte to not finish. It continued in the 300 hurdles when Octavious Joe appeared on pace to possibly place first in heat and land a spot in Saturday’s finals.

However, coming out of Turn 4 and heading down the final stretch, Joe got tripped up on the hurdle and finished 24th.

“I would put money on that if he wouldn’t have fallen, he would’ve won that heat,” McMaster said.

Joe would finish 21st in the in the triple jump with a leap of 39-01 feet.

“It was a really rough day for him, but he went out and competed in the triple jump and he had a strong showing there and he was one of the top freshmen in the triples,” McMaster said. “The name you should look out for next year is Octavious Joe. He fell in the 300 hurdles this year, but I would take the odds of him winning state next year. He had that face. He’s not a loud emotional guy, but you could tell that bothered him.”

While it was a disappointing night for the boys, the girls 4x400 team qualified for Saturday’s finals taking the final spot with a time of 4:18.08.

Meanwhile, Florence’s Taylor Wilson placed fourth in the long jump with a leap of 16 feet 10½ inches.

Wilson was one of the favorites entering the state meet after having the second best jump in Division III when she jumped 17-6 at the Ben McIvor Memorial Qualifier on April 5.

Phoenix Shadow Mountain’s placed first with a jump of 17-7 3/4th.

Other Gophers to finish in the top 10 on Friday included Mackenzie Heikes in the girls javelin and Isaiah Venegas in the boys long jump.

Wilson wasn’t the only Pinal County athlete to place fourth on Friday, as Combs’ Kett Anderson finished fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 43-00.00. Scottsdale Coronado’s Daijon Safford won the event with a jump of 45-10.00. Combs’ Rome Foster qualified for the finals of the boys 110 and 300 hurdles. He will join his fellow Coyotes on the boys 4x100 relay team, which qualified for the finals along with the boys 4x400 and girls 4x400 team.

American Leadership Academy-Ironwood’s Joey Heywood finished seventh in the triple jump with a jump of 41-09.75, while Apache Junction’s Emily Rutkowski placed 11th in the firls 300 hurdles with a time of 48.75 for the highest place for the Prospectors.

Recommended for You


Sign Up For Newsletters