The anxious anticipation of earning a prized berth to the state track and field tournament will be driving PHS team members to the brink as they labor through the Central Division championships today and tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, at Arizona Boy's Ranch in Queen Creek.
For most who don't earn at least a top-four finish in their respective events in the Central meet, the 1999 season is at an end.
For the athletes who finish among the top four, they'll advance to the state championships May 14 and 15 at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
The only athletes who may participate at state without a top-four finish are those who have met outside qualifying times and distances in selected meets earlier this season.
Of course, those competitors are almost always among the top four in divisionals, so outside qualification can be a moot point except when injuries prohibit an athlete from attending the division meet.
Among the Lady Longhorns, there are a number of outside qualifiers including Rheanna Martinez, Stephanie Robertson, Brianna Marshall, Shawna McCarty, Samantha Ellsworth, Sara Schmidt and Katie Langeliers.
Martinez is a qualifier in the 100-meter dash having run a 13.02 at the Winslow Invitational April 30. She first qualified earlier in the year when she was timed in 13.04.
Martinez is also state eligible in the triple jump having set a new PHS record of 36 feet, 5 inches at the Winslow meet. Her third state berth is in another event that she holds the school record hold in -- the long jump. In Winslow, she set the Lady Horn standard by soaring 17 feet, 5 inches.
Robertson, the defending state champion in the 300-meter hurdles, is state eligible in the event due to a 48.45 clocking turned in earlier this year.
Her long jump leap of 16 feet, 10 inches -- the school record -- meets state standards.
Marshall is "go" at state because of a 2:29.50 time in the 800-meter run.
McCarty qualifies with a school record pole vault of 9 feet, 6 inches she set at Winslow.
Also, the 4x400 relay team of Ellsworth, Schmidt, Langeliers and Marshall has run a 4:19 and is set to travel to Tucson.
For the Longhorn boys' team, middle distance star Heath Boyle will advance to state by virtue of a 2:00.30 clocking.
Jeremy Hoff, who won the Winslow shot-put event with a heave of 51 feet, 5 inches, is also a state qualifier.
Sprinter David Shaw secured a state berth in the 200 meters at Winslow where he ran in the low 22s during a preliminary race.
His time slowed to 23.46 (third) in the finals but that was because of the much colder and windier conditions during the running of the night finals, PHS coach Pete Greer said.
The Lady Longhorns will enter the Central meet as the favorite to win a second consecutive championship. The team stamped itself even more formidable with a second-place finish at the 25-team Winslow Invitational.
The only team to best Payson's 100 1/2 points was Durango, Colo. with 104.
Among the Class 3A teams the Lady Horns outscored in Winslow were Snowflake (91), Show Low (46), Blue Ridge (34), Alchesay (7) and Holbrook (6). The team also outscored a host of 4A teams.
On the Winslow boys scorecard, Payson (67) finished fourth behind Durango (114), Winslow (100) and Flagstaff Sinagua (79).
Winslow Invitational Results
• 100: 3rd, David Shaw, 11-36
• 4x100: 6th, Andrew Easton, Heath Boyle, Josh Barnhardt, David Shaw, 45-65
- 4x800: 3rd, Mike Sprinkle, Kaare Wagner, Andy Pederson, Heath Boyle, 8:31.9
- 4x400: 3rd, Mike Sprinkle, Josh Barnhardt, David Shaw, Heath Boyle, 3:343.5
- 200: 3rd, David Shaw, 23-46
• Shot-Put: 1st, Jeremy Hoff 51-5; 2nd, Mike Barker, 46-11; 3rd, Ken Holcombe, 45-7
- Long jump: 8th, Josh Barnhardt, 18-10
- Discus: 3rd, Mike Barker, 132-4; 8th, Jeremy Hoff, 118
- 800: 3rd, Heath Boyle, 2:04.4; 5th, Mike Sprinkle, 2:06.2; 8th, Andy Pederson, 2:06.9
• 100: 2nd, Rheanna Martinez, 13-02
- 11/100: 1st, Stephanie Robertson, 16-47
- 400: 3rd, Brianna Marshall, 62.94
- 4x100: 5th, Katie Langeliers, Brianna Marshall, Michelle Closs, Samantha Ellsworth, 53-49
- 4x400: 3rd, Katie Langeliers, Leighanne Haynes, Samantha Ellsworth, Brianna Marshall, 4:24.36
- 200: 2nd, Rheanna Martinez, 27-58
- Shot-Put: 2nd, Stephanie Robertson, 34-4
- Long jump: 1st, Rheanna Martinez, 17-5; 4th, Stephanie Robertson, 15-9 1/2
- Pole Vault: 1st, Shawna McCarty, 9-6; 5th, April Cheek, 7-6; 8th, Amy Davis, 6-6
- Triple jump: 1st, Rheanna Martinez, 36-5