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Almost 600 aspiring athletes representing 18 high schools swarmed onto Longhorn track April 24 to showcase their skills in the Freshman-Sophomore Rotary Invitational.

The meet format allows the athletes to compete against opponents of nearly the same age.

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Sophomore Tracy Fitzpatrick's mark of 29 feet, 9 1/4 inches in the triple jump earned her a third-place finish among the sophomore girls. Action took place at the Payson Rotary meet April 24.

In the individual events, freshmen compete against other freshmen and sophomores take on sophomores.

Former Longhorn pole vault star Bo Althoff, now a PHS coach, said he thought the format was a good one in that the younger athletes have more of an opportunity to succeed.

In most meet formats, no consideration is given to the school year of the athletes -- a freshman could find himself competing against a senior.

Although no team scores were kept and team awards were not doled out at the Rotary showdown, medals were given to the top three finishers in each events.

For the Longhorns, Brian Schwind pocketed three medals finishing first in the sophomore long jump (18 feet, 11 inches), second in the high jump (5 feet, 10 inches) and third in the triple jump (38 feet, 3 1/2 inches).

Speedster Luke Apfel won the sophomore 100-meter dash in 11:57. Apfel then teamed up with Todd Kreimeyer, Brandon Echols and Brendan Van Zile to win the 4x100 relay.

Apfel's quickness could give the Longhorn football team the breakaway speed coach Jerry Rhoades is looking for from his running backs. Last season, Apfel was slowed by injuries.

For the Lady Longhorns, the lone gold medal was won by Melissa McLaws in the freshmen girls high jump. McLaws cleared 4 feet, 10 inches.

Lauren Stewart ran her way to a second-place finish in the freshmen 800 meters. Her clocking of 2:39.17 was about nine seconds off the winning pace held by Flagstaff's Sarah Goldberg.

Among the most unusual events of the day were coed 4x400 relays. Few other meets around the state host coed events. The Payson team of Alesha Huddlestun, Kreimeyer, Tracy Fitzpatrick and Apfel finished fourth in 4:04.

Following the meet, PHS coach Chuck Hardt said he and the athletes were extremely grateful to Sheri Carpenter, Eillen Daniels, Don Heizer, Pat Heizer and all of the parents who help run the meet. He also thanked his wife, Shirley for hosting a great hospitality room.

More Rotary results

Payson High School Fresh-Soph

Rotary Meet April 24, 2004

Discus Soph Girls

6 Megan Miles 77-6

Discus Fresh Boys

5 Hunter Hardt 98-1

12 Nick Ford 76-3 1/4

Shot Put Soph Girls

6 Megan Miles 26-4

Shot Put Fresh Boys

7 Hunter Hardt 33-4 3/4

19 Nick Ford 27-11 1/2

Triple Jump Fresh Girls

2 Melissa McLaws 32-0

Triple Jump Soph Girls

3 Tracy Fitzpatrick 29-9 1/4

Triple Jump Soph Boys

3 Brian Schwind 38-3 1/2

Long Jump Soph Girls

3 Tracy Fitzpatrick 14-6 1/4

Long Jump Soph Boys

1 Brian Schwind 18-11

5 Luke Apfel 18-0

Pole Vault Soph Girls

3 Lucy Myers 8-0

Pole Vault Soph Boys

6 Brandon Van Zile 10-0

13 Dustin Ammann 8-0

High Jump Fresh Girls

1 Melissa McLaws 4-10

High Jump Soph Girls

5 Tiffany Moore 4-4

High Jump Soph Boys

2 Brian Schwind 5-10

110 Hurdles Soph Girls

9 Tiffany Moore 18.99 H1

110 Hurdles Soph Boys

6 Todd Kreimeyer 18.38 H1

110 Dash Fresh Girls

13 Patty Goble 14.61 HI

100 Dash Soph Girls

6 Amy Buckner 14.18 H1

100 Dash Soph Boys

1 Luke Apfel 11.57 H1

6 Todd Kreimeyer 12.07 H1

9 Brandon Echols 12.31 H1

1600 Run Soph Girls

8 Samantha Elliott 6:47.52 H1

9 Breanna Quinlan 6:50.35 H1

1600 Run Fresh Boys

4 Carlos Lopez 5:04.13 H1

4x100 Relay Girls

5 Payson 53.54 H1

4x100 Relay Boys

1 Payson 45.63 H1

400 Dash Fresh Girls

6 Patty Goble 68.15 H1

14 Hannah Lee 76.65 HI

300 Hurdles Soph Girls

8 Tiffany Moore 55.62 H1

800 Run Fresh Girls

2 Lauren Stewart 2:39.15 H1

800 Run Soph Girls

4 Alesha Huddlestun 2:38.59 H1

200 Dash Fresh Girls

12 Patty Goble 30.47 H1

24 Hannah Lee 33.84 H1

200 Dash Soph Girls

5 Lacy Myers 30.331 H1

15 Amy Buckner 33.29 H1

200 Dash Fresh Boys

20 Brandon Van Zile 26.00 H1

200 Dash Soph Boys

12 Brandon Echols 25.22 H1

3200 Run Fresh Boys

4 Carlos Lopez 11:35.28 H1

3200 Run Soph Boys

5 David Cluff 11:19.85 H1

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