The 2006 cross country season could be a long one for the depleted Lady Longhorn squad.
The skepticism exists mostly because the team roster does not now contain the necessary five runners to qualify for a team score.
So, the best the three Lady Longhorn runners on the squad can now do is compete individually.
Which is just what the trio -- Lana Cluff, Lucy Schouten and Marquel Waterman -- did Sept. 6 at a regular season opener held at Payson Golf Course.
Cluff, a running stalwart since she was a member of the Rim Country Middle School Maverick team three years ago, led the PHS effort with what would have been a ninth place finish overall in 23:22. But because the Lady Horns were not entered as a team, Cluff is eligible only for a time and not a numerical place.
Schouten, who ran the about 3-mile course in 25:25 would have been 13th. Waterman would have been 25th in 28:14. A field of 34 runners entered.
Coconino swept the top five spots and won the team title with 28 points. With 47, Sinagua was second. Mingus was third one point off Sinagua's pace.
The individual champ Rochelle Kanuaho (21:35) edged Panther teammate Emily Anderson by one second.
The Lady Horns travel Sept. 16 to Flagstaff's Buffalo Park where they will compete in the Four Corners Invitational.