Leading the way in the field events was the Wolverines’ Hammed Suleman, who narrowly missed qualifying for last year’s state meet in the long jump. The senior made a strong statement that he’s ready this year by leaping to a state-leading jump of 24-feet 1-inch. Suleman then followed up with a personal-best mark of 48 feet 4½ inches in the triple jump, the fourth-best mark in the state this season.
“I want to be number-one in the state,” Suleman said, adding that his gains this season are due to an off-season weight-training regimen.
The meet featured a breakout performance for Freedom freshman Kenny Walker, who won the 110-meter hurdles in an impressive 15.59 seconds, setting a new Falcon record. Freedom’s Mike Kicenski cleared 6 feet to win the high jump.
Liberty’s Wyatt Landrum continued his dominance in distance running, winning the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:25.58, waiting until the midway point in the race to make his move on the field. Liberty’s Michael DiGiorgio captured the pole vault by clearing 12 feet.
The rest of the event winners, though, were largely Deer Valley athletes. Trent Abernathy captured the 100-meter dash, Sebastian Kollie won the 400-meter dash, and Haapi Malu tossed the discus more than 130 feet to win that event. Deer Valley won the boys 4-by-100-meter relay, 4-by-200-meter relay and the sprint-medley relay.
The girls sprint and relay events pitted Deer Valley against rival Hercules. Both teams finished with the top 15 times in the state in the 4-by-100-meter relay, but Hercules won with a time of 48.21. Deer Valley responded in the 4-by-400-meter relay. Chizoba Okodogbe, Jamira Cox, Raven Fox and Erica Wilson ran the second-best time in the state this season: 3:55.59.
Wilson also placed third in the 100-meter competition with a strong time of 12.67, followed closely by teammate Joy Gee and Heritage sprinter Khyia Slone. Okodogbe ran a personal-best time of 55.17 in the 400-meter dash, ranking her third in the state.
Other event winners from Deer Valley included Stephanie Siemens in the 1,600-meter run, Princess Petus in the discus throw, the 4-by-800-meter relay and the sprint medley relay. Liberty’s Yessi Martinez won the pole vault and Erica Williams won the triple jump. Heritage captured the distance medley relay. Freedom’s Katie Rounds had two second-place finishes in the high jump and triple jump.