There will be no Conley Invitational berth for the defending state champion Lady Longhorn cross country team.
The prestigious Tempe meet, which invites only the 16 best teams in the state regardless of school size classification, is tomorrow (Oct. 5).
At press time, coach Chuck Hardt said he had resigned himself and his runners that Conley officials would not be asking the Lady Horns back for a third consecutive year.
The team has shown promise this year, but without defending state individual champion Whitney Hardt on the roster, Conley officials did not extend an invitation to Payson.
Instead of the Conley meet, coach Hardt will take the team to the Winslow Bulldog Invitational Saturday.
The Lady Horns finished third at the 10-team Blue Ridge Invitational held Sept. 28 in Lakeside.
With 83 points, the Lady Horns trailed Winslow (57) and Alchesay (66) in the final standings.
Individually, senior Rachelle Jones led the Rim country charge, finishing eighth on a 3.1-mile Woodland Park course.
Jones was clocked at 22:10. Ariel Latimer of Mingus won the event in 18:50.
Other Payson runners included Autumn Herrera (14th, 23:17), Shay McGee (15th, 23:18), Alesha Huddlestun (16th, 23:19), Ashli Herrera (21st, 23:34) and Tanya Davis (34th, 25:00).
The coach praised Huddlestun's performance, saying she showed much improvement.
The top 25 runners received commemorative medals for their efforts.
On the junior varsity front, no team scores were kept, but Payson did have a contingent of five runners compete.
Lacy Myers and Brianna Quinlan paced the team, finishing fourth and fifth. Myers was clocked in 24:25 and Quinlan in 24:26.
Other runners from Payson were Charlotte Hill (22nd, 30:11), Crystal Sprinkle (25th, 31:58) and Chrystal Riley (26th, 32:02).