A wrong turn on the Scottsdale El Dorado Park cross country course cost Lady Longhorn Jenny Cohen a chance at winning the championship of the Notre Dame Prep Invitational championship.
In the four-team skirmish Oct. 8, Cohen was midway through the 5K course when she was told by a student aide, helping with the event, to alter her route. As it turned out, the information was incorrect and Cohen found herself off course.
Realizing her mistake, she managed to get back on the track but the best she could do was an eighth-place finish in 22:19.
PHS coach Chuck Hardt refused to lay blame on officials for the mistake.
"We should have been out there helping her," he said. "We shouldn't have depended on them."
As Payson's No. 1 runner, Cohen is usually a top-five finisher in most invitationals.
Only last week, at the Sludge to the Judge race down Payson's Main Street, Cohen ran her way to first place.
Without the senior leading the way, the Lady Longhorns (55 points) had to settle for a runner-up finish behind gold medalist Cactus Shadows (15). Washington (67) was third and Notre Dame fourth (196).
Although Hardt would have liked to return to Payson with a championship trophy, he was encouraged by the Lady Horns' performances.
"We were close and Cactus Shadows is a (top-20) ranked team," he said.
The best showing for the Lady Horns was turned in by freshman Lauren Stewart. Turning in a time of 21:54, she claimed sixth place overall. Alesha Huddlestun was seventh in 22:11 and Yanni Krehbiel claimed 13th in 22:58.
Also competing from Payson were Molly Agnes (21st; 25:23), Brianna Quinlan (22nd; 25:27), Lacy Myers (23rd; 25:31), Sarah Agnes (25th; 25:43), Shanna Coleman (26th; 25:42), Hanna Lee (26:31) and Becca Sandoval (32nd; 26:52). The winning time of 19:38 was posted by a Cactus Shadows runner. A field of 49 runners participated.