Bid For Four-Peat Comes Up Short

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The clichall good things must end" certainly applies to the Lady Longhorn track and field team.

After winning three consecutive state championships, the team's quest to earn another title came to an end Saturday evening at Mesa Mountain View High School.

There, the Queen Creek Lady Bulldogs put an end to the Horns championship bid by outscoring Payson 123 to 87 1/2.

Trailing in the team standings were Winslow (71), Round Valley (58) and Safford (57 1/2).

More than 22 teams competed in the meet.

Although Payson came up short, coach Chuck Hardt lauded the team for their commendable efforts at state.

"I was very proud of them, very proud," he said.

Partially lost in the disappointment was the performance turned by sophomore Whitney Hardt. During the course of the two-day meet, Hardt won gold medals in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 events and was on the winning 4x800 relay team. Also, her clockings in the 1600 (5:05.33) and 3,200 (11:06.49) were both state track meet records.

The relay team's mark of 9:50.91 was also a state standard. In the foursome with Hardt were Leighann Haynes, Jenny Cohen and Autumn Herrera.

In addition to Hardt's three golds and the one garnered by the 4x800 squad, the Lady Horns had another state champion in the 4x100 relay team. That foursome of Megan Branstetter, Amy Davis, Haylee Huff and Michelle Closs nipped Winslow by .04 of a second to win the title. Payson was clocked in 52.06. and Winslow in 52.10.

"We had a little glitch in the handoff between Huff and Closs, that made it a lot closer than it should have been," coach Hardt said.

Arizona 3A Girls State Meet Results

400-Meter Dash: Michelle Closs 2nd 1:01.13

800-Meter Run: Whitney Hardt 1st 2:27.36; Leigh Anne Haynes 9th 2:30.68; Autumn Herrera 10th 2:30.82

300-Meter Hurdles: Halee Huff 6th 50.08

3200-Meter Run: Whitney Hardt 1st 11:06.49; Leigh Anne Haynes 3rd 11:49.57

4x100 Meter Relay: Payson 1st 52.06

4x400 Meter Relay: Payson 2nd 4:10.40

4x800 Meter Relay: Payson 1st 9:50.91

Pole Vault: Amy Wilcox 4th 8-0; Amy Davis 9th 7-6

Shot-Put: Kodi Kepp 8th 31-8

Discus: Hillari Hardt 7th 98-7; Kari Flake 9th 94-8

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