It's not often a small-town Arizona team plays hosts to a prep squad from New York.
That is precisely what happened April 23 on the Payson High School track. The PHS boys team locked horns with visiting Grand Island, New York in a four-way cinder showdown that also included Mingus and Mogollon.
The unusual track and field clash was set up by PHS volunteer assistant coach Chuck Yale who hails from New York. A retired coach now living in Payson, Yale helped arrange an Arizona visit for the Grand Island boys team. The New York team also competed in several other meets during its week stay in the state.
Playing the role of a good host didn't deter the Longhorns performance in most all events.
Racking up a meet-leading 137 points, the Horns flexed the muscle that could make the team a favorite to win both East region and 3A state championships.
Trailing the Longhorns in the final standings were Mingus (76), Grand Island (33) and Mogollon (4).
The Lady Longhorns were equally as impressive in winning the meet title with 130 points. Mingus tallied 69 to finish second; Mogollon (4) was a distant third. Grand Island did not bring a girls team to the Rim country.
For the Longhorn boys team, senior Chris Donaldson won with victories in both the 110 hurdles (15.4) and the 300 hurdles (42.2),
In the field events, Jake Swartwood easily won the high jump, clearing a personal record 6 feet, 4 inches.
Although, the mark exceeded the state qualifying standard of 6 feet 2 inches, it will not earn Swartwood an automatic state berth because it was not set at a designated qualifying meet. Swartwood can earn a spot in the state high jump competition by finishing among the top four at the regional meet May 9 and 10 in Lakeside.
The Lady Longhorn charge to the gold medal was led by Hillari Hardt and Kendra Francis.
Hardt won the discus (101 feet, 1 inch) and the shot put (30 feet, 7 inches). Francis was victorious in the triple jump (28 feet, 1 inches) and the 3,200 meters (13.53).
Both Longhorn track and field teams will return to action today (Tuesday) in a three-way meet set to begin at 3:30 p.m. on the PHS track. Participating with the Longhorns will be Flagstaff and Mogollon.
How they stacked up
Payson, 130; Mingus, 69; Mogollon, 4
4 x 800: 1st, Payson, 10:54
100 Hurdles: 1st, Shay McGee, 16.8
100: 1st, Amy Buckner, 13.9; 2nd, Tianna Golliglee, 14.1
1600: 2nd, Jennie Cohen, 5:49; 3rd, Autumn Herrera, 5.53
4x100: 1st, Payson, 54.6
300 Hurdles: 1st, Haylee Huff, 52.1; 2nd, Shay McGee, 52.5; 3rd, Brittany Owens, 54.5
800: 2nd, Autumn Herrera, 2:47; 3rd, Alysha Huddlestun, 2:50
200: 1st, Shay McGee, 30.3; 2nd, Tianna Golliglee, 31.2
3200: 1st, Kendra Francis, 13.53; 2nd, Whitney Heizer, 13.54
4x400: 2nd, Payson, 4:56
Long Jump: 1st, Brittany Owens, 14'10.5"
Triple Jump: 1st, Kendra Francis, 28'1.75"
High Jump: 2nd, Tianna Golliglee, 4'8"; 3rd, Haylee Huff, 4'4"
Shot Put: 1st, Hillari Hardt, 30'7"; 2nd, Kari Flake, 29'9.25"; 3rd, Megan Miles, 28'3"
Discus: 1st, Hillari Hardt, 101'1"; 2nd, Jennifer Vandruff, 78'2"; 3rd, Sarah Christiansen, 77'6"
4x800 Relay: 2nd, Payson, 8:43
110 Hurdles: 1st, Chris Donaldson, 15.4; 2nd, Jake Swartwood, 15.5
100: 1st, Darryl LeSueur, 11.6; 2nd, Luke Apfel; 11.7
1600: 1st, Dustin Rodgers, 4.56; 2nd, Tanner Morgan, 5:00
4x100: 1st, Payson, 46.8
400: 2nd, Andrew Karlowski, 56.2
300 Hurdles: 1st, Chris Donaldson, 42.2; 2nd, Jake Swartwood, 43.8
800: 1st, Joe Behrens, 2:02; 2nd, Patrick Karlowski, 2:32; 3rd, Steven Culbertson, 2.31
200: 1st, Darryl LeSueur, 23.6
3200: 1st, Tanner Morgan, 10.37; 3rd, Dustin Rodgers, 11.23
Long Jump: 2nd, Nick Cassuto, 18'9"
Triple Jump: 3rd, A. Karlowski, 37'8.5";
High Jump: 1st, Jake Swartwood, 6'4"; 3rd, Nick Cassuto, 5'10"
Pole Vault: 1st, Alex Cassuto, 14'; 3rd, Matt McCarty, 12'
Shot Put: 2nd, Lucas Schmidt, 41'4.5"
Discus: 1st, Lucas Schmidt, 159'10"