Showdown for the gold

Diné battles rival to win state shot put championship

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Goodyear Desert Vista junior Tyson Jones recorded a new PR of 67-06.50 in the boys Division II shot put division. He edged his rival by over two feet to win this year’s crown.

MESA, Ariz.

The state shot put finalist in Division II had to take a backseat to Tyson Jones and Turner Washington.

As one of the top billings at the Arizona state track meet, Jones and Washington made it an eventful one on Saturday afternoon at Mesa Community College. The two best throwers in the state regardless of class upped the ante as spectators watched this event in suspense.

With the other throwers maxing out in the 50-feet range, the two behemoths got a few throws out in the mid-60 range.

Washington, a senior at Canyon Del Oro, turned in a personal best of 65-feet, 1.50 inches in one of his six attempts.

Jones, a Diné with roots in the Window Rock area, did him one better as he also set a new PR, going 67-06.50.

“I think it’s great that I have someone else that throws in the 60s with me,” Jones said. “He (Turner) pushed me and sometimes he’ll have that one big throw that will get him a nice PR so it made me work a little harder to throw farther.”

Besides battling Washington for the state crown, the Goodyear Desert Edge junior had his eye set on breaking the all-time record of 69-03, which was set in 1958 by Dallas Long, according to the Arizona Track and Field Record Book.

“I still have three track meets left this year and I think I can break it,” said Jones.

Jones said he’s not sure if he’s going to compete in the Arizona Meet of Champions, which is set for today at Brophy College Preparatory School in Phoenix. The MOC invites the top three placers from all divisions and to make the event competitive they have reached out to other athletes who are among the top 20 in the state.

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Categories: Track & Field

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at