On the road to the Phoenix Christian Invitational Track and Field championship, the Longhorn boys team shook off the ill-effects of having limited pre-season practice sessions to prepare for the 14-team clash.
A key to the Longhorn victory March 15 at Phoenix College was the five gold medals earned.
Tanner Morgan led the parade with wins in both the 1,600 (4:47) and 3,200 meters (10:29.5). Alex Cassuto copped the pole vault title by clearing 14 feet. In the 4x800 relay, Patrick Karlowski, Brian Langeliers, Morgan and Joe Behrens earned a first-place finish with their 8:46.10 clocking.
Senior Chris Donaldson, who has been slowed recently by a foot injury, ran his way to a first-place finish in the 110-meter high hurdles (15.9). The clocking is just one-tenth of a second off his personal record.
Because Rim country practice sessions have been limited by snow, rain and cold, the accomplishments of the first-place finishers represented an impressive start to the season.
Payson's invitational total of 118 points bested runner-up Queen Creek by a narrow six-point margin. In the field, Northwest Community Christian (72) was third and Chino Valley (60) claimed fourth.
More individual results
1st, Jimmy Arollo, Bourgade, 6'4"; 2nd, Jake Swartwood, Payson, 6'; 3rd, Nick Cassuto, Payson, 6'; Chris Donaldson, Payson, 5'6".
1st, Joel Burleson, Wickenburg, 152'4"; 5th, Wellington Cassuto, Payson, 114'7".
1st, NWCC, 44.3; 3rd, Payson (Andrew Karlowski, Nick Cassuto, Luke Apfel and Josh Sprinkle), 47.1.
1st, Queen Creek, 3.40.9; 3rd, Payson (Luke Apfel, Andrew Karlowski, Benny Hartnell and Joe Behrens), 3.45.1.
1st, Jimmy Arollo, Bourgade Catholic, 11.1; 8th, Luke Apfel, Payson, 11.7.
1st, Mike Sanders, Sedona, 2.03.7; 2nd, Joe Behrens, Payson, 2.08.6; 8th, Pat Karlowski, Payson, 2.18.4.
4th, Brian Langeliers, Payson, 4.52.6.
5th, Brian Langeliers, Payson, 10.48.1.
1st, Stratton Solomon, Joseph City, 21'2.5"; 8th, Andrew Karlowski, Payson, 18'9.25"
1st, Tony Bayne, QC,, 41'7"; 2nd, Andrew Karlowski, Payson 38'8.5".