DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Gators finish eighth in D-I state track & field meet

Xavier Prep survived the triple-digit temperatures to post a respectable eighth-place finish in Saturday’s (May 5) final day of the Division I state track meet at Mesa Community College.

The Gators scored 33 points. Chandler High won another championship with 185, followed by Phoenix Desert Vista with74 ½.

Xavier participated in several events during Wednesday’s (May 2) first day, and came back for more on Saturday.

Jada Sims finished eighth in the 100-meter hurdles at 15.41 seconds.

Xavier had four runners in the 1,600-meter run – Karina Hawkins 11th at 5:20.42, Mia Olsen 14th at 5:21.93, Jamie Stelnik 15th at 5:25.18 and Helen Innes 17th at 5:27.87.

Megan Zacher, who has developed into one of the state’s top middle-distance runners, offered a challenge for Chandler standout Morgan Foster in the 800-meter run. Foster finished first at 2:12.03, while Zacher was second at 2:14.36. XCP had two others in the event – Kinsey Ehmann was sixth at 2:20.63 and Sammy Braun was 21st at 2:27.97.

In the final event of the evening, Xavier finished fourth in the 4x400-meter relay. That group was comprised of Sims, Zacher, Sophie Brohard and Ehmann.

Chandler’s Jai Gruenwald was the meet’s top individual performer. The UCLA-bound athlete set a state record in the long jump and won both hurdles events as well as the triple jump.

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