With a pair of Central Division championships tucked in their overnight bags, the Longhorn track and field teams will roll into Tucson today (Friday) looking for even more honors.
In the Class 3A State Championship meet, to be contested on the campus of the University of Arizona, the Horns will be buoyed by a boys' team that rode team depth and two school records to the Central title.
In the final tallies, Payson (226) edged Cactus Shadows (207 1/2), Arizona Boys Ranch and Fountain Hills (117).
For the Lady Horns, the divisional clash was not much more than a tuneup for the state championships. Led by Stephanie Robertson, who was named "Outstanding Female Athlete," the Payson team cruised to a whopping 347 points.
Runnerup Cactus Shadows provided only token opposition, finishing with 199. Carding 140 points, Globe was the bronze medalist.
Regardless of team finish in the Central games, the top four individual finishers in each of the track and field events earned berths in the state championships.
The record setters
Few long-time track and field fans will ever forget the blazing speed of Ty Chilson. His lightning quickness out of the blocks and patented strong finishes stamped him as one of the state's fastest 100-meter runners in 1986 and 1987.
In the years since his graduation, the Horns have been without a true burner that could come close to matching Chilson's high-steppin' antics.
But with speedy David Shaw now rounding into form, the sprint drought at PHS is officially over. Saturday at the Central championships in a preliminary round of the 100-meter dash, Shaw ended Chilson's longtime hold on the school record (10.93), turning in a 10.82.
In the finals of the 100 meters, Shaw's pace slowed to 11.2 for a third-place finish.
PHS sophomore Rheanna Martinez also etched her name in the school record books, winning the 100 meters in 12.44, beating the previous record of 12.51.
In the 3200-meter boys' relay, another school record was established when the team of Mike Sprinkle, Andy Pederson, Kaare Wagner and Heath Boyle won the event in 8:23. The foursome broke their own record of 8:26, set earlier this season.
In capturing the outstanding female athlete award, Robertson -- a senior -- earned three golds and one silver medal.
Among her impressive showings was a victory in the 100-meter hurdles, which she won easily in 15.68. About the only competition she had to overcome was provided by teammates Sara Schmidt (second in 17.54) and Samantha Ellsworth (third in 17.9).
The 300-meter hurdles turned into an instant replay of the 100-meter event, with Robertson winning over runner-up Schmidt and bronze medalist Ellsworth.
Robertson's third gold on the day came in the long jump, with a leap of 16 feet, 3 inches.
The shot-put was the only event Robertson contested and didn't win. She finished second, with a team-high throw of 34 feet, 2 inches.
In addition to Robertson, the Lady Horns had another strong MVP candidate in Martinez.
To go along with her record-setting victory in the 100 meters, Martinez also won triple jump (35 feet, 3 inches) and the 200 meters (26.87). In the long jump, she also copped fourth place with a leap of 15 feet, 5 inches, that was much shorter than the school record of 17 feet, 1 1/2 inches she set earlier this season.
What fueled the boys?
Fans searching for the reasons behind the boys' victory have to look no further than the shot-put, in which Payson finished 1-2-3-5.
The Horn victory parade was led by senior Jeremy Hoff, who won the event with a toss of 52 feet 10 inches.
Trailing Hoff were Mike Barker (second; 50 feet), Ken Holcomb (third; 45 feet, 8 inches) and Robert Owens (fifth; 42 feet).
The only other gold medal the boys' team earned was in the pole vault, won by Jerry Baker, with an effort of 10 feet, 6 inches.
State championship field events will begin at 3:30 p.m. today. Some preliminary track events --relays , 400-meter dash, 100-meter dash and hurdles -- tip off at 4:40 p.m. today.
The championship finals in the field events begin at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The track event finals open at 4:30 p.m. with the running of the 3A girls, 3200-meter relay.
The final event, which will begin about 9:30 p.m., is the 1600-meter relay.
Individual PHS results from the Central Division track meet:
• 3200m Relay: 1st, 8:23, Mike Sprinkle, Andy Pederson, Kaare Wagner, Heath Boyle
- Pole Vault: 1st, 10-6, Jerry Baker
- Long Jump: 2nd, 20-11, Josh Barnhardt
- Discus: 3rd, 150-3, Mike Barker; 5th, 125-3, Robert Owens; 6th, 123-5, Jeremy Hoff
- 100 meters: 3rd, 11.2, David Shaw
- 1600 meters: 4th, 4:53, Jerry Baker; 5th, 5:01, Jeremy Lee; 7th, 5:08, Kaare Wagner; 8th, 5:13, Joe Sanchez
- 400m Relay: 2nd, 45.2, Andrew Easton, Heath Boyle, Josh Barnhardt, David Shaw
- Shot-Put: 1st, 52-10, Jeremy Hoff; 2nd, 50-0, Mike Barker; 3rd, 45-8, Ken Holcombe; 5th, 42-0, Robert Owens
- High Jump: 3rd, 5-7, Jerry Baker
• 300m Hurdles: 2nd, 42.9, Andrew Easton
- 3200m: 4th, 10:56, Jeremy Lee; 5th, 11:21, Nolan Blalock; 6th, 11:23, Joe Sanchez
- 800m: 3rd, 2:06, Andy Pederson; 4th, 2:07, Mike Sprinkle; 6th, 2:13, Jeremy Lee
- 200m: 3rd, 23.01, David Shaw; 6th, Josh Barnhardt
- 1600m Relay: 3rd, 3:36, Mike Sprinkle, Andrew Easton, Andy Pederson, David Shaw
• 3200m Relay: 2nd, 10:39, Katie Langeliers, Katie Smoyer, Brianna Marshall, Leighanne Haynes
- Pole Vault: 1st, 9-6, Shawna McCarty; 2nd, 7-6, Katie Smoyer; 3rd, 6-6, Amy Davis; 4th, 6-0, April Cheek
- Long Jump: 1st, 16-3, Stephanie Robertson; 4th, 15-5, Rheanna Martinez; 8th, 13-5, April Cheek
- Discus: 2nd, 96-7, Carrie Garrett; 3rd, 93-5, Sundae Shill; 4th, 93-3, Kaitlin Wilkins; 5th, 92-3, Lindsey Heizer
- 100 Meters: 1st, 12.44, Rheanna Martinez
- 1600 Meters: 4th, 5:56, Stefanie Ray; 5th, 5:59, Katie Smoyer
- 400m Relay: 2nd, 52.34, Katie Langeliers, Sara Schmidt, Samantha Ellsworth, Brianna Marshall
- Triple Jump: 1st, 35-3, Rheanna Martinez; 7th, 27-0, Lindsey Heizer
- Shot Put: 2nd, 34-2, Stephanie Robertson; 4th, 33-5, Kaitlin Wilkins; 6th, 31-1, Carrie Garrett; 8th, 28-9-1/2, Mindy Dorris
- 300 Hurdles: 1st, Stephanie Robertson; 2nd, Sara Schmidt; 3rd, Samantha Ellsworth
- 3200m: 1st, 12:49, Stefanie Ray; 5th, 13:40, Katrina Beeler; 7th, 14:02, Amy Davis; 8th, 14:08, Lily Flores
- 800m: 2nd, 2:29, Leighanne Haynes; 3rd, 2:34, Shawna McCarty; 4th, 2:35, Katie Smoyer
- 200m: 1st, 26.87, Rheanna Martinez
- 1600m Relay: 1st, 4:17.8, Samantha Ellsworth, Michelle Closs, Sara Schmidt, Brianna Marshall
- 100m Hurdles: 1st, 15.68, Stephanie Robertson; 2nd, 17.54, Sara Schmidt; 3rd, 17.9, Samantha Ellsworth
- 400m: 1st, 1:01.4, Brianna Marshall; 3rd, 1:04.16, Katie Langeliers; 4th, 1:04.17, Michelle Closs