D.E. boys place 5th at state

DANTE BLISSIT of Desert Edge spins around before hurling the discus at the 2016 Division II state track and field championships. Blissit took second in the discus at this year’s state meet, throwing it 184 feet, 5 inches.  View photo by Ray Thomas
DANTE BLISSIT of Desert Edge spins around before hurling the discus at the 2016 Division II state track and field championships. Blissit took second in the discus at this year’s state meet, throwing it 184 feet, 5 inches. View photo by Ray Thomas

Scorpions’ Tyson Jones wins shot, Dante Blissit 2nd in discus

Desert Edge finished fifth in the Division II state track and field meet at Mesa Community College May 3 and 6, and it was largely on the shoulders of its throwers.

Tyson Jones won the shot put, and his state championship mark was the second longest of all time in Arizona. His heave of 67 feet, 6.5 inches eclipsed the previous runner-up mark by nearly five feet, and was just under two feet shy of the all-time record. Dallas Long of Phoenix North set that at 69-3 in 1958.

It was great,” Desert Edge track coach Jose Lucero said. “He’s an extremely dedicated athlete when it comes to throwing. He works at it tirelessly, and it was nice to see him pull off a big number at the biggest meet of the year … Despite the windy conditions of the day, he pulled off a big throw. It was pretty awesome.”

Jones, a junior, had an even longer throw than his winning mark, but he scratched.

There was one that looked like it was a little longer, pushing 68, possibly 69, but he scratched on it, so we’ll never know,” Lucero said. “He stepped out of the ring a little bit. When he came down, one foot was out just barely.”

Jones needed nearly all of his throw to win the event, as Tucson Canyon del Oro’s Turner Washington recorded a 65-1.5 to finish second. Third place was 51-7.

It was really exciting for him to be able to win a state championship again, especially because this year, the competition was pretty good,” Lucero said. “He had to have a good day to win it.”

Jones also won the shot put state championship as a sophomore, heaving it 60-04 last year. He was fifth as a freshman.

In addition to Jones’ first-place finish, he took third in the discus at 166-9. Dante Blissit was second in the discus at 184-5, and fourth in the shot at 51-4.

Blissit’s shot put mark wasn’t his best, but the discus mark was a personal record.

Dante definitely works on his craft,” Lucero said. “He’s such a gifted athlete; he pretty much can do anything out on the track. He works hard, is dedicated to what he does and got better as the year went on.”

Lucero was proud of both Jones and Blissit for competing at their highest level on the biggest day of the year.

For both of those kids to pop their best number in their best event on the last day of the year was pretty cool,” Lucero said.

Desert Edge finished fifth as a team with 33 points, getting 29 of them from its throwers. The other points came from Daniel Pullem, who was sixth in the 300-meter hurdles in 42.17 seconds, and Alex Maiz, who was eighth in the 200-meter dash in 23.51.

Our throwing program the last couple years has been really good,” Lucero said. “We had three boys qualify for state, which is pretty cool.”

Desert Edge was only one point away from third-place Gilbert Campo Verde, which had 34 points. Phoenix North Canyon won state with 53.5 points.

Desert Edge had one girl medal (top five) at state. Joi Harvery finished fifth in the shot put, throwing 37-3.75.

Sophomore Shannon Gory and freshman Makayla Yerian also qualified for state in throws, but didn’t place.

Our girls throws program could be pretty special,” Lucero said. “We had two sophomores and a freshman girl qualify.

Verrado and Agua Fria

Verrado’s girls team had two athletes earn medals at state, both fourth-place finishes. Samantha Deane ran the 400 in 57.81 seconds, while Kylie Pollard threw the discus 120-10.

Agua Fria’s Riley Roberts was a medalist in the 400, finishing fifth in 58.39.

Division IV medalists

Two local schools had medalists in the Division IV state track and field meet, which was also at Mesa Community College.

Tonopah Valley’s Cheyenne Marquez was fifth in the discus with a throw of 94-7, while Trivium Prep’s Olivia Quintana was third in the triple jump, leaping 34-5.

 

Casey Pritchard can be reached at caseypritchard@westvalleyview.com or on Twitter @CaseyonSports.



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