Last-minute changes in spring sports schedules is one of the challenges to which Longhorn coaches and athletes must adjust.
For evidence, just ask first-year Payson High School track coach Ian Harvey and the members of the boys and girls teams who last week had to overcome one of those obstacles.
The squads were originally slated to travel March 7 to Morenci, but those plans changed only two days earlier when the meet was moved up a day.
"We couldn't go then," PHS athletic director Jason Lobik said. "So, we found a meet in Chandler."
But that meet was March 5, only one day after the team had traveled to Flagstaff for the 3A North Indoor Classic.
Undaunted by tiring travel across the state on consecutive days, the Longhorns bussed their way south on the Beeline Highway to the newly-built Chandler Perry High School.
There, four Horn tracksters, including Nick Goodman, Matt Wilson, Bryan Burke and Scott Andrus found the campus all too familiar.
All were members of the Longhorn football team that last fall was eliminated from the state tournament by a gut-wrenching 16-14 loss to Coolidge.
The game was played at Chandler Perry.
For Andrus and Wilson, their first-place finishes erased a few unpleasant memories of the scene.
The pair, both standout linemen for the Horns last season, tied for the gold in the shot-put with identical heaves of 45 feet, 5 inches.
Andrus also won the discus with a toss of 124 feet, 5 inches.
Burke took second in the discus and was third in the shot-put. Goodman eased some of the bad vibes of returning to Perry with a silver medal effort in the pole vault.
The efforts of the four former gridders helped the Longhorns to 60.5 team points and a second-place finish in the standings to Seton Catholic (76.5). Host Chandler Perry was third with 40 points.
Among the gold medal winners for the boys were Donovan Swanson, Shane Crisp, Dan McGee and the 4x800 relay team of Derek Williams, Dakoda Wholly, Joey Garcia and Gunner Bauer.
Swanson won the high hurdles (16.9), Crisp took the 300 hurdles (46.1), and McGee pole vaulted to first (12 feet).
The relay team's winning time was 9:26.5.
In the girls competition, Seton reigned by scoring 75 points. With 50 points, Payson was second. Perry tallied 45 to take third.
Lady Longhorn first-place finishers included Maddie Nossek, Jenna Robertson, Kynel Lann, Holly West, Jordyn Runzo and the 4x800 relay crew.
Nossek won both the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches) and long jump (15 feet, 8 inches); Robertson ran to the title in the 100 hurdles (19.6); Lann won the triple jump (27 feet, 5 inches); West won the shot-put (29 feet, 8 inches); and Runzo took the discus title (82 feet).
On the gold medal relay team were Jacquelyn Oesterblad, Lucy Schouten, Lauren Nossek and Lana Cluff. The four were clocked in 11:22.7.
Other medalists included:
Seconds: Girls 4x100 relayTanya Olson, Katie Hancock, Nikki DeWees, Jenna Robertson); Boys 4x100 relay(Brandon Moratti, Caleb Harrison, Shane Crisp, Chad Lammers); Discus,Bryan Burke; Pole Vault,Nick Goodman;00 and 3200,Lana Cluff.
Thirds:600 and 3200,Joey Garcia; 400,unner Bauer; Shot-put,Bryan Burke; Discus,Matt Wilson; Pole Vault,Donovan Swanson; 200, Maddie Nossek.
Fourths: 800,Derek Williams; Shot and Discus, Logan Garner; 400,an Dillon; 800 and 1600,acquelyn Oesterblad.