MESA — Blaise Nelson has proven he’s one of the fastest young men in the state of Arizona.
He put an exclaimation point on this assertion by repeating as champion in the 100 and 200 meters at this weekend’s boys Arizona Track and Field Championships.
While last year he was merely the Division I champion, this year, with Arizona staging an all-classes meet a week after divisionals, he was able to compete against all of the state’s best sprinters.
The Valley Vista senior, who’s headed to Northern Arizona University on a football scholarship, said it was a treat to not only win the Division I titles again this year,t but also run against the top sprinters in the state a week later.
Nelson beat Zack Gaumont of Mesa Mountain View by one-tenth of a second in the 100 Saturday with a time of 10.7 seconds. He won the 200 more easily, as his time of 21.41 beat runner-up sophomore Logan Yackley from neighboring Shadow Ridge by 0.27 seconds.
“It’s an honor to run against all nine of the best in the state,” Nelson said. “Anybody who makes that final, it’s an honor to run against them.”
That included Yackley, an up-and-coming rival, who placed fifth in the 100 meters with a time of 10.85. Yackley later anchored the Shadow Ridge 4-by-100 relay team that placed fourth in a race that forged a rare tie in Arizona track and field, as Chandler High and West Point both ran a 40.93. Both relay squads were awarded nine team points.
Nelson’s two victories led the Monsoon boys to 20 team points and eighth place in the first statewide meet.
Nelson said in his third year of state-level contention in sprints —which included a fourth-place finish in the 100 meters in Division I as a sophomore in 2021 — required tightening up the little things that matter in a close race.
“I knew everything I needed to work on, and clean up,” Nelson said after the 100 meters. “My start was really good today. I really felt good about how I came out of the blocks.”