Even without the efforts of sophomore running sensation Whitney Hardt, the Lady Longhorns were able to chalk up another gold medal in the 4x800 relay Saturday. Hardt was in California participating in an invitational meet.
Competing in the 11-team Blue Ridge Invitational Saturday in Lakeside, the relay team performed with Lily Flores replacing Hardt in the usual lead-off position. Regulars on the squad are Autmun Herrera, Michelle Closs and Leighann Haynes. The team's winning time of 10:39.7 didn't come close to the squad's season best of 9:51.80, but it was quick enough for the gold.
The relay team's first-place showing helped the Lady Horns to a second-place finish with 167 points. Tallying 183 points, Snowflake claimed the title. Round Valley (145.5) finished third and Blue Ridge (96.5) was fourth.
In addition to the first place from the relay team, the Horns earned gold medal team points from Leighann Haynes in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs. Haynes was timed in 2:30.1 in the 800 meters and 5:36.7 in the 1,600.
Her personal records of 2:27.45 and 5:23.25 are the second best marks in the 3A conference this season. Only Hardt has run faster.
Because some of the athletes opted to remain in Payson and practice for the Blue Ridge meet, the Lady Horns traveled April 10 to Globe with a depleted roster.
Nonetheless, several of those who chose to participate turned in commendable efforts.
Gold-medal winners included Sara Hummer (discus, 88 feet 6 inches), Haylee Huff (high jump, 4 feet 7 inches), Rachelle McGee (110 hurdles, 18:18) and Britney Owens (400M, 56.94).
Also, the 4x100 relay team of Rebecca Easton, Shaleen Holmes, Huff and Owens ran its way to a first-place finish (no time available).