Martinez Sets New Standard At Chandler Meet


Shrugging off the disappointment of not qualifying for the 200-meter finals even though she won her preliminary heat, Lady Longhorn Rheanna Martinez uncorked a record-setting long jump of 17 feet, 7 inches.

Competing at the Chandler Rotary Invitational Track and Field meet Saturday afternoon, Martinez's gold-medal jump set a new school standard. It also will be etched in the invitational history books as the meet's third-best jump.

The previous PHS school mark of 17 feet, 6 inches was set by Martinez last season.

In other Chandler track action, Martinez was refused a seed into the 200 finals because her preliminary time of 29.37 ranked ninth among all runners.

Berths to the finals are awarded to the four fastest heat winners or next four fastest times. Martinez's ET did not meet either standard.

The unique, but unsettling situation, PHS coach Pete Greer said, was simply a case of hard luck.

Once again shaking off the effects of not making the 200 finals, Martinez rebounded in the triple jump to finish second.

Her mark of 36 feet, 6 inches is the sixth best in the all-time invitational event rankings.

Martinez wrapped up her topsy-turvey track and field day by running to a fifth-place finish (12.66) in the 100-meter dash. Her finals time of 12.66 was a tad slower than her preliminary heat mark of 12.55.

Coach Chuck Hardt lauded the efforts of the high-flyin' speedster, saying she performed exceptionally well while pitted against some of the best talent in a four-state area.

In addition to the accomplishments of Martinez, several other Horn tracksters turned in outstanding efforts.

By running a 10:30.39 in the 4x800 relay, the team of Brooke Bennett, Amy Davis, Brianna Marshall and Leighanne Hayes earned an outside qualifying berth into the state championship May 12 and 13 in Chandler.

Also earning a state seed was Kaitlin Wilkins with a heave of 34 feet, 6 inches in the shot-put.

In the 1,600-meter run, Jeremy Lee earned himself a spot at state, turning in a clocking of 4:37.

The 4x400 girls relay crew of Sara Schmidt, Katie Langeliers, Marshall and Haynes turned in a speedy personal best of 4:15.8. The clocking easily bested the state qualifying time of 4:18.

In the boys' competition, speedster David Shaw scored Payson's only team points finishing seventh in the 200-meter dash (22.99). His competition, Greer said, included an outstanding field of sprinters.

Personal records

Those setting personal records at Chandler included Sterling White (shot-put; 47 feet, 11 inches), Sundae Schill (discus; 103 feet, 4 inches), Sarah Hummer (discus; 102 feet, 1 inch), Kaitlin Wilkins (discus; 100 feet, 5 inches), Lily Florez (1,600; 6:03), Michelle Closs (1,600; 5:48), Nolan Blalock (1,600; 4:59), Amy Davis (pole vault; 8 feet). Sophomore April Cheek tied her PR in the pole vault, clearing 7 feet, 6 inches.

Upcoming action

Upcoming action for the team includes the annual Payson Freshman-Sophomore Invitational April 8 on the Longhorn track and the Blue Ridge Invitational April 14 in Lakeside.

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