Freshman Maddie Nossek probably doesn't understand the elite company she's joined as a Payson High School athlete who's competed in the prestigious Meet of Champions -- formerly known as the Luke Greenway Meet.
Before Nossek was born, Longhorn tracksters Nicole Engstrom, Darren Reid, Todd Reid and Mark Hochstetler were Meet of Champions invitees. Others include Bo Althoff, now the pole-vaulting coach at PHS, Tim Ryden, Lura Goldman and ASU scholarship winner Rheanna Martinez. In 1999, Jeremy Hoff finished fourth in the shot put at the Luke Greenway Meet, but went on to star at Northern Arizona University.
Last year, sprinter Todd Kreimeyer grabbed the headlines of Valley-area newspapers by taking the gold in the 100-meter dash. In winning, he out-ran Class 4A and 5A state champions who entered the meet more heralded than the small-town kid with the slow start out of the blocks.
The Meet of Champions has, for the past 50 years, invited state track and field event champions from all school sizes, 1A to 5A, to compete against one another.
The meet is an opportunity for small school athletes to test their skills against those from larger metropolitan high schools.
This year, the meet will be held May 19 at Sandra Day O'Connor High School in northwest Phoenix.
Nossek earned an invitation by virtue of her first-place finish in the long jump at the Class 3A state championships May 11 and 12 at Mesa High School.
Her winning leap was measured at 16 feet, 8 inches.
Agnes will be the only athlete to represent PHS at the meet.
Carlan Pontious, a state champion in the 800 and 1600 meters and pole vault champion, Shanna Coleman, have declined MOC invitations.