Longhorns Take Stage At Chandler Invitational

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The prestigious Chandler Rotary Invitational served as a stage for Longhorn track team members to earn outside qualifying berths to the Arizona State Class 3A tournament.

In all, two relay teams and a high, long and triple jumper posted the minimum marks needed to earn seeds to the state fray. The Arizona finale will be held May 12 and 13 at Mesa High School.

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The Payson High School boys track team used the Chandler Invitational March 24-25 as a spring board to earn outside qualifying berths into the state tournament.

The 4x100 foursome of Todd Kreimeyer, Nate Doyle, Brandon Echols and Joe Blackburn insured themselves a state berth by besting the qualifying time of 45.67.

Although an exact electronic time was not available, the team clocked in under 45 seconds, coach Chuck Hardt said.

The school-record holding 4x800 team of David Cluff, Carlan Pontious, Bryson Addington and Carlos Lopez easily bested the 3A 8:38.3 standard with a 8:29 clocking.

Senior Brian Schwind qualified in three events with a long jump of 20 feet, seven inches, triple jump of 41 feet and by clearing six feet in the high jump.

His long jump also earned him a second place finish. In the triple jump he was third and in the high jump, he leapt to first in his flight.

Of the Lady Longhorn contingent that went to Chandler, none met state qualifying standards.

Some team members did not participate because the Payson Unified School District was on a two-week spring break, and the athletes were out of town on vacation.

Athletes who do not qualify at preselected meets during the regular season must earn berths to state by finishing among the top four in their individual events at the four regional finals.

The East championships are set for May 5 and 6 in Snowflake.

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