At the Buckeye Invitational, Lady Longhorn three-sport star Krystal McRae proved herself to be one of the conference's up-and-coming 100-meter hurdlers.
In winning the event March 9, McRae was timed at 16.72 which is less than a second shy of the 4A state qualifying time of 15:93.
Her time also was much quicker than the gold-medal clocking of 18:05 she turned in last year at Buckeye.
What made McRae's performance even more impressive is fact it was done early in the season and without much practice and conditioning time. Preseason spring sport practices were limited due to the inclement weather that drenched the Rim country in February.
McRae's first-place showing was the only gold medal the Lady Horns earned in Buckeye.
Junior Tracy Fitzpatrick, however, took second in the long and triple jumps. In the long jump, she sailed 13, feet 6 inches and in the triple, she jumped to 29 feet, 6 inches.
Fitzpatrick also teamed with Janet Echols, Amy Buckner and McRae to take second in the 4x400 relay. The team's time of 4:29.8 was better than the winning ET of 4:40 the Payson team turned in last year at Buckeye.
Also earning second-place team points for Payson was Tiffany Moore in the high jump (4 foot, 6 inches).
The Lady Horns picked up two Buckeye bronze medals in the shot-put and the 4x100 relay.
Freshman Kaitlin Wallace uncorked a heave of 24 feet 9 inches to finish third in the shot. The foursome of Buckner, McRae, Fitzpatrick and Echols were third in 54.4.
As a team at Buckeye, the Lady Horns posted 41 points to finish fourth behind Cortez (91), Glendale (51), and Buckeye (43).
The Lady Horns return to the track March 18 at the Round Valley Invitational in Springerville/Eagar. Start time is 9:30 a.m.