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The Arizona Republic's Top 5 performances from Week 1 of 2024 high school track and field

The high school track and field season is finally upon us. The state is coming off a historic year in which seven total records were broken. All spring long in 2024, The Arizona Republic will be tracking the top performances each week as Arizona’s best athletes compete on the oval and in the field.

Here are the top five from the first week of the season.

Girls Arizona track and field top 5

1. Annaleise Taylor, Waddell Canyon View, hurdles, Sr.: Won both the 100-meter hurdles (14.14) and 300-meter hurdles (42.91) at the Richard Thompson South Mountain Invite; both times are early state leads. She is shaping up to be the fiercest competitor against Arizona’s top hurdlers – Chandler Hamilton senior Kori Martin and Phoenix Sunnyslope's Aniyah Martin.

2. Stacey Onyepunuka, Avondale Agua Fria, sprints, Sr.: Swept the 100 meters (11.94) and 200 meters (24.35) at the Richard Thompson South Mountain Invite to establish the state’s top times in the first week as her rival, Laveen Cesar Chavez sophomore Mayen Usoro, opted to focus on the 400 meters.

3. Nicole Ripperdan, Queen Creek, distance, So.: Came in first in the 800 meters at the Thunder Invite, running 2:19.96 to take down Paradise Valley Phoenix Country Day School senior Kimi Cahoon. Coach Shaun Hardt believes she’s a dark horse candidate to win the Open state title in this event.

4. Paris Magee, Chandler Basha, jumps, Jr.: She went 35-3 in the triple jump to win the Richard Thompson South Mountain Invite by over a foot. She was the only athlete in the state to clear the 35 feet this week – the next closest athlete was at 34-1.

5. Aubree Gleason, Gilbert Williams Field, throws, Jr.: Threw 127-11 in the discus to take first at the Richard Thompson South Mountain Invite. Gleason was one of two athletes to eclipse 127 feet in the discus for the first week of the season.

Boys Arizona track and field top 5

1. De’Mar Coleman, Phoenix South Mountain, sprints, Jr.: Coach Eugene Evans said to watch out for Coleman this season after competing in the National Junior Olympic youth program in the summer, and Coleman showed why his coach has such deep faith in him right off the bat. Coleman won the 100 in 10.74, beating Goodyear Desert Edge junior Jamar Beal-Goines – one of Arizona’s best sprinters – in the process. Also won the 200 in 21.55; both times lead the state.

2. Josiah Anderson, Phoenix Barry Goldwater, sprints, Sr.: Began his campaign as the state’s top sprinter over 400 meters with a 47.62 win at the Thunder Invite. Phoenix Mountain Pointe alum and ASU freshman Jayden Davis started off his record-breaking 2023 season with a 47.26.

3. Henry Dilworth, Peoria Liberty, distance, Jr.: The runner-up at the Arizona Interscholastic Association Division I state cross country championships this past fall, Dilworth started off his track season in excellent fashion by running 9:23.96 in the 3,200 meters at the Thunder Invite. Dilworth beat his teammate, Ryan Denhof, the 2023 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year for cross country who won the Division I title, by almost four seconds.

4. Hayden Weaver, Surprise Shadow Ridge, throws, Sr.: Launched a huge throw of 191-2 in the javelin to finish in first at the Thunder Invite. It’s a huge personal best of nearly 10 feet for Weaver, who came in the season at 182-10. Looks like another Hayden is going to take the mantle as Arizona’s best javelin thrower (Phoenix Desert Vista senior and state record-holder Hayden Gorovitz is out for the season recovering from elbow surgery).

5. Cameron Arsenault, Mesa Mountain View, throws, Sr.: Beat Queen Creek senior Eyitayo Omotinugbon in the shot put at the Thunder Invite, throwing 54-0 to Omotinugbon’s 52-9. Arsenault is the clear state leader in the event early on and should be a name to watch for moving forward.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Top 5 performances from Week 1 of Arizona high school track and field