A rookie new to the high school sports scene and an award-winning veteran joined forces to help the Lady Longhorn track and field team win the championship of the Canyon State Cactus Classic Track and Field Invitational.
Freshman Whitney Hardt and senior Reanna Martinez provided many of the points the Lady Horns needed to romp over the 19 teams participating in the Saturday event in Queen Creek.
In winning the title for the second straight year, the Lady Horns compiled 179 points. With 98 points, Valley Christian finished a distant second.
Following the triumph, Martinez was tapped the Field Athlete of the meet and Hardt the Track Athlete of the meet.
Martinez's efforts included winning the 100 meters (12.9), triple jump (35 feet, 2 inches) and the long jump (17 feet, 10 inches).
Although her time and distances didn't approach her personal bests, the marks were commendable for the early season, coaches said.
Hardt ran her way to gold medals in the 800 (2:30.68), 1600 (5:32.2) and 3,200 (12:27.28) runs.
She also ran the opening leg on the meet winning Lady Longhorn 4x800 relay team.
Hardt's ET in the 3,200 easily eclipsed the former school record of 12:39 set by Stephanie Ray.
According to PHS coach Chuck Hardt, the freshman's time could have been even better had she not developed a side stitch early in the run.
The coach said he wouldn't normally enter a freshman in three grueling long-distance events but the staff had decided to try to earn her an outside state qualifying berth to state.
By meeting minimum standards, prep athletes are awarded berths to state regardless of what they do in regional qualifiers.
Whitney missed the 3,200 qualifying time by about six seconds, coach Hardt said.