Longhorn cross country teams will test their mettle and talent today, Friday, at the East regional championships to be held at Alchesay High School in Whiteriver.
The top three finishing teams will earn the right to advance to the state championships, set to begin Nov. 3 at Cave Creek Golf Course.
The Lady Longhorns have a full contingent of seven runners available for the regional finals and could qualify as a team.
The boys, however, only had two individuals compete Oct. 19 at Holbrook and might not be able to field the minimum five runners to be eligible for a team score.
Individuals may qualify for the state tournament by finishing among the top 15 at the regional meets.
The Longhorns could qualify David Knauer, who has been the team's strongest runner all season long.
In Holbrook, only Knauer competed for Payson. Knauer was timed in 21:45.
For the Lady Longhorns, senior Lana Cluff led the charge, finishing 34th in 23:15. Teammate Lacy Schouten toured the course in 24:15 and was 52nd. Esther Linkey, another member of the Lady Horns top three, was 66th in 25:15.
Also representing Payson were Rachel Ward (118th; 31:47), Nicole Scott (121st; 32:24) and Keisha Waterman (125th; 3:31).
In the junior varsity competition that drew 60 runners, Tori Belohlawek was 50th in 33:03.