CDO’s Stepter named 2012 State Track Athlete of the Year - The Explorer: Sports

CDO’s Stepter named 2012 State Track Athlete of the Year

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Posted: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 4:00 am | Updated: 9:50 am, Wed Jul 11, 2012.

After a record-breaking track and field season, Jaide Stepter became the first-ever track athlete from Canyon Del Oro High School to be named Gatorade’s Arizona Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. 

Each year, Gatorade, in collaboration with ESPNHS, honors the nation’s best athletes based on athletic excellence, high standards of academics, and demonstration of exemplary character.

“It was a big honor to receive recognition from a national organization,” said Stepter. “The fact that another athlete from CDO, Kayla Bonstrom, was selected as well is an awesome way to represent CDO.”

Bonstrom received the same award in softball after the Dorados won the Division II state softball title, defeating Peoria Sunrise Mountain. 

The state award places Stepter as a finalist in Gatorade’s National Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Stepter will find out soon if she wins the national award, and given her accomplishments on and off the track, it would be no surprise to see that happen.

Stepter managed to break the state record in the 300-meter hurdles twice this track season, first at the Chandler Invitational in March when she ran 42.18 to beat the former record of 42.67. 

It didn’t take Stepter long to beat her own record at the Division II state track meet.

With a time of 42.01, Stepter not only broke her previous hurdling record, but also claimed two additional individual state titles in the 100-meter hurdles (14.43 seconds), and the long jump (19 feet, three inches). 

“It was really cool to be able to go out like that,” said Stepter. “I was so excited, and it was great to see everyone in the stands clapping for me. It’s nice knowing I have fans throughout Arizona.”

Stepter was one event away from winning all four of her events at the state meet, placing second only in the 200-meter dash to Salpointe Catholic’s Michaela Crunkleton-Wilson, who finished the race with a time of 24.50. Stepter’s three individual wins helped CDO place second overall in Division II competition.

Latanya Sheffield, Stepter’s mother and sprint coach, said the award tops off a fantastic season.

“It’s a culmination of all the years of her hard work,” she said. “It’s very humbling and an honor to see her recognized.”

In the classroom, Stepter maintained a 4.4 grade point average. Stepter said academics have always been a priority for her.

“My parents have always emphasized that academics come first,” she said. “Coming into high school, there was always a mindset the entire way to strive for an A, to be the best I can, and that’s what I’ve tried to do. I’m just as proud of my academic accomplishments as my athletic accomplishments.”

Stepter also donated her time as a youth athletic instructor and at community track events with the goal of fighting childhood obesity.

Stepter will take her academic and athletic abilities to the University of Southern California next year on a track scholarship, and plans to study film.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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