Coach Chuck Hardt's preseason prediction that the Longhorn boys' track team wouldn't sport the depth it did during last year's regional championship campaign is turning into reality.
At a Blue Ridge Yellow Jacket-hosted meet April 5 in Lakeside, the Horns captured four gold medals, but didn't field entries in six events and had to settle for fourth place in the five-team field.
The only team the Longhorns outscored with their 45 points was Class 2A Heber Mogollon (25). Blue Ridge kept the meet title in Lakeside finishing with a tally of 82. Show Low (62) was second and Round Valley (54) third.
If the Longhorns are to field a team potent enough to earn a second successive regional championship, they'll have to fill the vacancies in the 4x800 relay, 800-meter run, long jump, triple jump, high jump and pole vault.
The Payson score sheet from Blue Ridge reads "no entries" in each of those events.
The team might not have the roster numbers coaches and fans would like, but it does sport a legitimate regional and state championship threat in David Shaw. The senior speedster won both the 100- (11.52) and 200-meter dashes (23.2) in Lakeside. Also, he anchored the 4x100 relay to a fourth-place finish.
With the Blue Ridge Invitational on the Horns agenda this Friday, Shaw will again have the opportunity to showcase his lightning-quick speed in front East regional foes.
Other results from Blue Ridge:
5th, Meikle Garrett, 17.53;
1st, David Shaw, 11.52
4th, Wes Sprinkle, 5:17;
4th, Andres Easton, Nolan Blalock, Brandon Johns, David Shaw 48.69; 400
2nd, Nolan Blalock, 56.66
1st Andrew Easton, 43.05; 4th, Meilke Garrett, 45.06; 800
1st, Leighanne Haynes, 2:35; 2nd Michelle Closs, 2:39; 3rd, Shaina Vaught, 2:42
1st, David Shaw, 23.2;
3rd, Wes Sprinkle, 12:01;
3rd, Andrew Easton, Brandon Johns, Meikle Garrett, Nolan Blalock, 3:48;
1st, Sterling White, 44-6;
2nd, Sterling White, 122-6; 5th, Brandon Johns, 112