Relay Team Up Against Best Foursomes In State

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Payson High's 4x800 relay team is set to test its speed and skill against the best foursomes from a four-state area.

The showdown will occur March 24 and 25 at the running of the 66th Annual Chandler High School Rotary Invitational track and field meet.

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David Cluff is a member of the Payson High School 4x800 relay team that will participate in the prestigious Chandler Invitational.

More than 60 teams from Arizona, Texas, Colorado and Nevada are entered. The prestigious meet draws elite individual athletes from those four states.

The PHS relay team, consisting of Bryson Addington, David Cluff, Carlan Pontious and Carlos Lopez, will compete Saturday along with others who have met minimum qualifying standards.

Those who have not met the standards will compete in the Friday portion of the meet.

Coach Chuck Hardt is predicting the Payson foursome can hold its own against the rugged Rotary competition.

"They will do well," he said.

The coach has tinkered with the relay rotation, trying to find the best possible combination, but says it will probably remain the same as it has been in early season, with Addington opening and handing off to Cluff. Pontious will run the third leg and Lopez anchor.

The relay crew, and others on the team, will compete without the benefit of many recent practices. Because the school district is on spring break, some athletes are out of town with their families.

Pontious is not scheduled to return from a trip to Wisconsin until March 24.

The last time the athletes competed in earnest was March 17 at the 15-team Round Valley Invitational in Eagar.

In the indoor meet, Longhorn sprinter Todd Kreimeyer stamped himself a region championship favorite, winning the 200 meter run in 23:53.

Hardt called the time very good because it was run on a tight indoor track.

Also in the meet, David Cluff was third in the 1600 meters and fourth in the 800.

His younger brother, Issac, took third in the pole vault.

The 4x400 relay team of Issac Cluff, Nate Doyle, Jonny Malloy and Robert Walker was fifth. Walker was also fifth in the high jump. Lopez took sixth in the 800 meters.

For the Lady Longhorns, Sierra Sommars was second in the discus and Shanna Coleman third in the pole vault.

Fifth-place finishers included Janet Echols (400 meters), Jenna Robertson (long jump) and Kayla O'Donnell (shot put).

The 4x400 relay team of Sarah Agnes, Panda Stackhouse, Echols and Coleman ran to a sixth-place finish.

Agnes also took sixth in the pole vault.

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