For the 705 entrants in the Rotary Freshman-Sophomore Invitational, the meet more resembled a marathon, than a prep track showdown.
The 25-team event held April 21 at Payson High School took on the lengthy flavor after tipping off at 9:30 a.m. with a coaches' meeting, continuing unabated until about 7 p.m.
Late that evening, after athletes had eaten at local restaurants, homebound school busses -- with headlights glaring -- could be seen streaming out of Payson along the Beeline and Highway 260.
Throughout the meet, athletes battled cold and windy conditions that left some shivering and shaking as they awaited the start of their events. In an attempt to escape the elements, most teams brought camping tents and sleeping bags, where athletes could comfortably retreat during down time.
Although the invitational was lengthy and frigid, 13 records -- seven boys and six girls -- highlighted the competition.
For Payson, Maddie Nossek's freshman long jump of 16-feet, 4-inches was almost six inches longer than the previous record. It also bettered the sophomore standard.
Prior to the meet, not a single PHS athlete held a Rotary Invitational mark.
"Now, a Payson athlete owns one," said meet director and Longhorn assistant coach, Chuck Yale.
In addition to Nossek's first place finish in the long jump, the high-flying freshman won the gold in the high jump, as did Brandon Alexander in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Kady Ward was first in freshman discus. Sophomore first-place finishers for Payson included Kayla Morgan (shot put and discus), Matt Wilson (shot put) and Nick Goodman (pole vault).
More results from Payson High School Track and Field; Rotary Freshman-Sophomore Invitational
Nikki DeWees, sophomore -- 300 hurdles
Talia Schaal, sophomore -- 100 hurdles
Emily Hill, freshman -- pole vault and 300 hurdles; Maddie Nossek, freshman -- 400; Nick Walker, freshman -- discus; Jenna Robertson, sophomore -- 100 hurdles; 4 x 100 relay team
Logan Garner, freshman -- shot; Donovan Swanson, sophomore --110 hurdles and high jump; Talia Schaal, sophomore -- triple jump; Nikki DeWees, sophomore -- high jump
Kyndel Lann, freshman -- triple jump; Kady Ward, freshman -- shot put
Brooke Larned, sophomore, 800
Shelby Ahlman, freshman -- shot; Lucy Schouten, freshman -- 800 and 1600; Shane Keith, sophomore -- 400