Girls track and field: Stepter finishes HS career by winning 3 state crowns

2012-05-13T00:00:00Z 2012-05-13T06:44:48Z Girls track and field: Stepter finishes HS career by winning 3 state crownsDaniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 13, 2012 12:00 am  • 

MESA - Canyon del Oro's Jaide Stepter closed out her storied high school career with an exclamation point Saturday.

Actually, a few of them.

The senior USC commit won three events in the Division II meet for the second straight year and broke the state record in the 300-meter hurdles to score 38 points for the Dorados, who finished second as a team.

"To be able to leave like that, it's amazing," Stepter said. "I don't have any other words for it."

Salpointe Catholic won the Division II team title - its first ever - scoring 85 points at Mesa Community College.

Stepter's 42.01-second time in the 300 hurdles marked the second time this year that she broke the state record in that event. She said she knew it was a fast race but had to wait until her official time was displayed. Once it was up, the crowd gave her a loud applause.

"It just shows how much support I've had over all the years here in Arizona," Stepter said. "It's really cool to know that, as I go on to the Pac-12 and go on to USC, if I have a track meet down here, I'll have some fans to support me."

Salpointe sophomore Michaela Crunkleton Wilson edged Stepter by four-tenths of a second in the 200 in 24.5 for her second championship of the day but also felt bad because she kept Stepter from winning her final event.

CDO picked up another win just before that when senior April Steward kicked down the stretch to win the Division II 800.

Stepter started the day by winning the 100 hurdles in 14.43 seconds, ahead of Salpointe junior Alyssa Thompson who was second in 15.09.

Less than an hour later, Stepter edged Thompson for the long jump title when she set a personal record of 19 feet 3 inches. She said she's only been doing long jump for about five weeks.

Salpointe's first of four individual titles Saturday came when Crunkleton Wilson won the Division II 100 in 12.02. Sophomore teammate Diana Gajda was second in 12.59.

It was the other way around in the 400 with Gajda finishing first in 55.92 and Crunkleton Wilson placing second in 55.99.

"This year I just set my mind to it and told myself I had to win," Gajda said.

Thompson won her first championship with a 38-0 mark in the triple jump after taking second in her two events prior to that.

"It was a good jump, considering all the other stuff I had done before that," Thompson said.

In other Division II action, Ironwood Ridge won the 1,600 relay in 3:58.20.

Sierra Vista Buena senior Ashley Weber, an ASU commit, swept the Division I throwing titles with a 133-3 toss in the Division I discus and a 41-9 1/2 mark in the shot put.

"I've been going for the shot put title, really hoping for it since my sophomore year, so it's great to finally do it," Weber said.

Pusch Ridge Christian locked up the Division IV team title with a 4:14.14 win in the 1,600 relay at the end of the night. Sophomore anchor Jordan Cropper held on to the lead.

Cropper, a transfer from Catalina Foothills, also anchored the 400 relay team, which won its second straight title in 51.03 earlier in the day.

"To bring it home was the best feeling," Cropper said.

The Lions opened the day with a win in the Division IV 3,200 relay in 10.02.57. Junior Sarah Macdonald anchored that race and then easily won the 3,200 in 11.39.01 for her third individual championship of the meet. Her teammate, Grace Johnson, finished second in 11:58.87.

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