The Longhorn track and field program annually produces some of the best teams in Class 3A competition as evidenced by the girls' state championship of last spring.
But when the Rim country teams stray into 5A circles, the depth large school teams own takes a toll on Horn hopes.
That fact of prep sports life grew increasingly evident as the hot afternoon hours wore on in a three-way meet contested March 22 in Mesa.
There, the Lady Horns were forced to take a back seat in the final point standings to both Mesa High and Red Mountain.
The Mountain Lions ran, jumped and threw their way to the meet title with 67 1/2 points. Mesa was second (58 1/2) and Payson (52) third.
In the varsity boys' competition, Red Mountain (92) and Mesa (63) both prevailed over the Longhorns (21).
On the junior varsity front, the Lady Horns managed a second-place finish accumulating 52 points to trail only Red Mountain (69).
With eight points, Mesa High was third.
Red Mountain (97 1/2) ran away with the boys' jayvee title when neither Mesa (28 1/2) or Payson (22) could provide much competition.
While the varsity Lady Horns didn't have the overall team strength to battle the Mesa bruisers, the team did feature a star capable of more than holding her own against the city athletes
Junior Rheanna Martinez bested all comers in four events -- the 100 meters (12.2), 200 meters (25.9), long jump (17 feet, 6 1/2 inches) and triple jump (44 feet, 3 1/2 inches)
The gold medals further enhanced Martinez's reputation as one of the most accomplished track and field athletes in Arizona.
The only other first-place honors the Lady Horns enjoyed on the day came in the 4x400 relay when Katie Langeliers, Brooke Bennett, Brianna Marshall and Leighanne Haynes joined forces for a first-place finish.
The foursome was clocked in a very quick 4:19.
In the boys' competition, the Horns picked up two gold-medal performances from speedy school record-holder David Shaw who won both the 100 (10.89) and 200 meters (22.08).
Track results at Mesa meet
Shalynn McGee, 1st, 17.89
Martin Garcia, 3rd, 5:23, Amy Davis, 1st, 6:16
Danny Malloy, 2nd, 1:00.3, Daniel Jacobs, 4th, 1:02.4
Shalynn McGee, 1st, 49.7
Amy Davis, 1st, 2:46, Shanda Vaught, 2nd, 2:50
Brianna Marshall, 1st, 27.84
Martin Garcia, 2nd, 11:51, Josh Dahm, 4th, 13:21
Brooke Bennett, Michelle Closs, Shalynn McGee, Amy Davis, 1st, 4:35
Brooke Bennett, 1st 14-6 1/2; April Cheek, 4th, 12-2 1/2
Brandon Johns, 1st, 36-2 1/2; Lucas Schmidt, 4th, 29-1; Mindy Dorris, 2nd, 27-1; Mindy Flake, 4th, 25-11
Brandon Johns, 3rd, 93-5; Mindy Dorris, 1st, 93-4; Catherine McNac, 4th, 62-5
2nd, Leighanne Haynes, Shanda Vaught, Michelle Closs, Brooke Bennett, 10:36
Sara Schmidt, 3rd, 16.56
Leighanne Haynes, 2nd, 63.3
Meikle Garrett, 3rd, 43.7; Andrew Easton, 4th, 44.3; Sara Schmidt, 2nd, 49.65
Jeremy Lee, 2nd 2:06.8; Michelle Closs, 2nd, 2:40
Mary Mendoza, 4th , 14:06
Danny Malloy, Andrew Easton, Jeremy Lee, Meikle Garrett, 2nd, 3:52.2
Sterling White, 3rd 47-2 1/2, 3rd; Kaitlin Wilkins, 2nd, 34-7 1/4; Jocie Gressley, 4th, 30-5
Sarah Hummer, 3rd, 100-1; Kaitlin Wilkins, 4th, 99-5