Shay McGee's two gold medals highlighted the Lady Longhorns frustrating track and field performance in a 79-58 loss to Flagstaff Sinagua March 26 on the PHS track.
If McGee hadn't captured the first-place finishes in the 400 meters (1:06) and high jump (4 feet, 8 inches), the Longhorn fans on hand would have not had much to cheer about.
The only other first-place showings for Payson were turned in by Kody Kepp (shot put; 33 feet 2 inches) and Hillari Hardt (discus; 99 feet, 10 inches).
The past five years, the Lady Longhorns have fielded potent track and field teams capable of vying for state championships. Last spring, however, a solid crew of long time standouts graduated with the class of 2002. The team also lost the services of long distance star Whitney Hardt when her family moved to Eagar/Springerville, and junior pole vaulter Amy Wilcox, who opted not to participate in the sport this spring.
The loss of the standouts has left the Lady Horns without the topnotch point producer the team once had in the likes of Stephanie Robertson, Reanna Martinez and Hardt.
In the loss to Sinagua, the Lady Horns' shortcomings turned painfully obvious when the team did not have a top-three finisher in the 100 meters, long jump and triple jump.
For the team to round once again into a region title contender, it will probably have to rely on depth and the points produced by second-, third- and fourth-place finishers.
The Lady Longhorns return to action at 3:30 p.m. April 2 on PHS tack against Round Valley, Blue Ridge and Holbrook.
More March 26 Payson results
Sinagua 79 Payson 58
100 Hurdles: 2nd, Brittany Owens, 18.6
1600 meters: 2nd, Autumn Herrera, 6:11; 3rd, Alysha Huddlestun, 6:21
400 meters: 2nd, Becca Easton, 1:09.4
300 Hurdles: 2nd, Haylee Huff, 51.1
800 meters: 2nd, Megan Miles, 3:05
200 meters: 2nd, Denise Nottingham, 31.1
3200 meters: 2nd, Kendra Francis, 16:09
4x400 Relay: 1st: Payson 4:40
High Jump: 2nd, Haylee Huff, 4'6"
Pole Vault: 3rd, Denise Nottingham, 6'
Shot put: 1st, Kody Kepp, 33'2.5"; 2nd, Hillari Hardt, 32'8.5"; 3rd, Kari Flake, 29'5"
Discus: 1st, Hillari Hardt, 99'10"; 2nd, Kari Flake, 89'9"