Young Phs Tracksters To Enjoy Level Field

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Payson High School will play host tomorrow to the annual Rotary Freshman and Sophomore Invitational track and field meet.

The meet is unique in that it allows young athletes to test their skills against other teens near the same age and maturity. In varsity track events, freshmen and sophomores often find themselves going head-to-head against seniors who are experienced and usually more mature.

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Carlan Pontious, a sophomore at Payson High School, will compete in the Rotary Invitational tomorrow on Longhorn track.

Most often, it's the seniors who emerge victorious. But tomorrow, the fledgling tracksters will have the opportunity to see how they fare when pitted against opponents the same age. In most events, freshmen will battle other freshmen and sophomores challenge sophomores.

Among the talented Payson underclassmen will be distance star Carlan Pontious who is fresh off winning the 800- and 1600-meter runs at the Fountain Hills Invitational.

Slated to participate in the Rotary meet are Coronado, Flagstaff, Copper Canyon, Sunrise Mountain, Apache Junction, Pinnacle, Blue Ridge, Coconino, Mingus and Sandra Day O'Connor.

The meet is sponsored by two Payson Rotary Clubs. Rotary members purchase medals and trophies as well as help run the events.

Stop by the track and cheer on the youngsters as they hone their running, jumping and throwing skills.

Field events start at 10:30 a.m., and running events an hour later.

Pepsi challenge on deck

The Major League Baseball Pepsi Pitch, Hit and Run contest will start at 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 20 at the Rumsey I ballfield.

The event was originally scheduled at Rumsey II, however, due to a scheduling conflict it has been moved.

The contest is open to all youth 7 to 14 years old, with ages being determined as of July 17, 2005.

The competition features pitches into a designated target zone, hitting from a stationary tee for distance and accuracy, and running from second base to home plate for time. Boys and girls compete together.

There will be drawings for prizes donated by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Participants must have a parent or legal guardian sign the registration paperwork. Registration forms are available at the Payson Parks and Recreation office.

Registrations will also be accepted on the day of the event.

For more information, contact Charlene Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 260.

Girls slow pitch

The Payson Parks and Recreation Department is accepting registration for girls softball, ages 7 through 15.

The format for play has changed from modified pitch to slow pitch. Coaches are needed.

The age groups are 7-10, 11 and 12 and 13-15. Depending upon the registration numbers, the age groups could change.

The deadline for registering is Wednesday, May 4. Late registration is not guaranteed.

You can register at the parks a rec office or online at www.paysonparks.com.

Games begin in June.

For more information, contact Charlene Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 260.

MSA a sellout

The always-popular Mogollon Sporting Association banquet is now a sellout but members are continuing to accept raffle, prize and auction donations.

According to longtime MSA member Jack Koon, the event sold out March 31, but a waiting list is being compiled if any tickets become available. To sign up for the waiting list or to donate merchandise for the giveaways, call Koon at (928) 474-1662.

The celebratory banquet begins at 5 p.m. May 7 at Mazatzal Casino with a no-host cocktail hour. At 6 p.m., a filet mignon or chicken dinner will be served.

The fun is expected to peak about 7 p.m. when master of ceremonies Will E. Dietz begins the raffles and giveaways. Dave Yoke's auctioneering is also a jovial, and usually profitable, portion of the evening.

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