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Arizona track athletes like Ky Westbrook set the standard for years to come

File photo courtesy of Derek Ware

Ky Westbrook's track legacy added another chapter over the weekend.

MESA, Ariz. – Ky Westbrook, and many of her peers, need to not worry.

The Chandler High wunderkind became a little reflective Saturday night at Mesa Community College as her high school career in track came to an end.

"A few years from now I guess I'll be able think about everything I accomplished and put it in perspective," she said. "Right now, it is all kind of blur. It's always about chasing someone or a time. Records are meant to be broken and I hope I am one of those names people are trying to track down years from now."

It's going to happen, but it might be a long time before Arizona sees anyone like Westbrook again. She seemingly does whatever she wants when she is hanging around the big oval.

Last year the USC recruit barely practiced, let alone competed, in the shot put before going on to set the state record in the event at the state meet. This year, she added the 110-meter hurdles to her repertoire at the state meet after only competing a handful of times and won the event in 14.17 seconds Saturday to help the Wolves to the Division I title.

"It's always good to challenge yourself and it is something I've never done at state," said Westbrook, the daughter of former NFL wide receiver Michael Westbrook. "It's been a long time since I was nervous before a race and that one got the blood bumping because I've never done it before."

Westbrook, who was never healthy enough to post personal record times, also won in the 100 and 200, and repeated as the shot put champion to finish her career with the state record in the 200 (23.37), shot put (47 feet, 9 inches) along with having the second-best time in the 100 (11.33).

Three other athletes became "the name out there to chase down" for years to come on Saturday after big-time performances.

Drawing possibly the biggest reaction from the crowd of the day was Bryant O'Georgia of North Canyon (Phoenix), as the senior cleared 7-2 ¼ inches in the high jump to break the 25-year-old record of 7-2 set by Casa Grande's Gabe Beecham in 1989.

"It was a goal for such a long time," said O'Georgia, who is going to Northern Arizona on a football scholarship. "I knew it was bound to happen."

The other two record breakers probably have each other to thank after competing in the same four events over the two-day event.

Highland (Gilbert) junior Lauren Ellsworth set the state mark in the 800 with a time of 2:07.61 to top the mark of 2:08.61 set by Xavier's Natalie Johnson.

Desert Vista (Phoenix) junior Danielle Jones, who won the 3,200 on Wednesday, set the 1,600 record with a time of 4:48.73 to knock off Mountain Pointe's Sara Gorton's time of 4:49.11 from 1999.

"Right now it means more than anything," she said of setting the state record. "I had rude awakening with the injury (stress fracture) and really made me appreciate running."

Jason P. Skoda, a former Arizona Republic and current Ahwatukee Foothill News staff writer, is a 19-year sports writing veteran. Contact him at jskoda1024@aol.com or 480-272-2449.

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