Without sophomore running star Whitney Hardt in the lineup, the three-time defending state champion Lady Longhorn track and field team had to settle for a second-place finish at a three-way meet March 13 at Valley Christian High School
With 98 points, Valley Christian claimed the meet championship. Payson (62) was runner-up and Fountain Hills (13) trailed the field.
Hardt, who usually can be counted on for four gold medals, remained in Payson to train.
In the boys competition, Valley Christian also staked claim to the title with 104 points. Payson (47) was second and Fountain Hills (20) third.
A highlight of the meet for the Lady Longhorns might have been the performance of speedy Jenny Cohen.
In the 400 meters, Cohen raced to a first-place finish in 1:03. She also teamed up with Michelle Closs, Autumn Herrera and Haylee Huff to win the 4x800 relay (10:57).
In the 4x400 relay, Cohen hooked up with Amy Davis, Closs and Huff to win the gold in 4:23.
The boys team received a nice boost from junior Chris Donaldson who won both the 110-meter hurdles (16.62) and the 300-meter hurdles (44.44).