Lady Longhorn fans could only wonder "what if" as they watched the Round Valley girls, buoyed by the efforts of four former PHS athletes, run away with the Class 3A state championship May 17 at Queen Creek High School.
Behind the efforts of ex-Lady Horns Whitney Hardt, Kari Hardt, Brooke Bennett and Shelby Bennett, the Elks rolled to 121 points and the state crown.
Snowflake (72.5) finished a distant second behind powerful RV.
The Hardt family moved to Springerville-Eager last summer and the Bennett's moved a year earlier.
Shawn Hardt, Whitney and Kari's father, is the football coach at Round Valley High School.
Brooke and Shelby's father is a doctor in the community.
With the four former stalwarts no longer on the roster, the Lady Longhorns fell to a 10th-place finish (21 points) in the 22-team field.
The meet highlights for the Lady Longhorns might have been the performances of the relay teams.
The 4x800 foursome of Jenny Cohen, Becca Easton, Autumn Herrera and Alesha Huddlestun finished fourth in 10:06.91.
Amy Bucker, Tianna Golliglee, Haylee Huff and Brittany Owens joined forces to finish seventh in the 4x100 sprint event.
The 4x400 squad of Jenny Cohen, Brittany Owens, Huff and Shay McGee was fifth 4:15.31).
McGee also did well in the 100-meter hurdles, winning fourth in 17:15.
Cohen put on a good show for the Payson fans taking fifth in the 800 meters (2:24.67 and eighth in the 1,600 meters (5:24.40).
Kari Flake threw 98 feet, 1 inch in the discus to finish ninth.
Other state results
May 16-17, Queen Creek
Women Shot Put
11th, Hillari Hardt, 30-07.00
Women - Team Rankings
17 Events Scored
10th, Payson High School, 21