For the Longhorn cross country team, a single point meant the difference between an East regional championship and a silver medal finish.
In the regional finals Oct. 28 in Lakeside, Payson posted 39 points to finish second behind 2005 regional champion and host Blue Ridge. The Yellow Jackets carded 38 points.
Although the Horns had to settle for a runner-up showing by the slimmest possible margin, the team did earn the right to advance to the state finals Nov. 5 at Cave Creek Golf Course.
The top four teams from each of the four regions in the 3A conference earned berths at state. Also representing the East will be third place finisher Alchesay and fourth place Holbrook.
Alchesay posted 87 points and Holbrook had 96. With 105 points, Snowflake was fifth and will not advance to state.
Individually at regionals David Cluff led the Longhorn charge, with a second place finish in 17:31. As expected, Blue Ridge's Matt Rowell won the event in 17:22.
All season long, Rowell has dominated the cross country scene and will be one of the favorites to win the 3A state title.
Also for Payson at regionals, Carlan Pontious turned in a 17:42, clocking to finish fifth.
Sludge to the Judge champion Carlos Lopez was seventh in 18:02. Also representing Payson in the 32-runner field were Bryson Addington (tenth; 18:02), Lee Perez (15th; 18:57), Daniel McGee (19th; 19:18) and Robert Walker (24th; 20:19).