The Chinle High School baseball team is mourning the loss of one of its star players. Junior centerfield Garvin Hardy, 17, was one of three who were killed about 9 a.m., May 9 in a fiery head-on accident on SR 79.
Hardy was returning from the Arizona State baseball tournament played May 8 at Surprise Sports Complex. There, Chinle lost the state first-round game 15-6 to the Payson Longhorns.
For the Wildcats last season, Hardy — who wore jersey No. 15 — hit .452 with 10 doubles, three home runs and 21 RBIs.
Payson fans will remember it was Hardy who made a sensational over-the-shoulder catch of a long fly ball to left centerfield that at first appeared to be an extra base hit.
Also killed in the car Hardy was riding in was 23-year-old Tiffney Steward of Phoenix; a passenger in their vehicle, 27-year-old Justin Juan of Tempe, was injured.
In a second car, 65-year-old Tucson resident Patricia Carrion was killed, and the driver, 26-year old Veronica Valenzuela, was injured.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety says the investigation into the cause is ongoing.
No youth triathlon
Parks and Recreation officials say budgetary constraints and a lack of staffing has caused them to cancel the youth portion of the upcoming sprint triathlon.
The adult event will be held as originally scheduled beginning at 7 a.m., Saturday, June 13 at Taylor Pool.
The format of the triathlon includes a 15-mile bike race, 5K run and a 500-yard swim.
The swim will be in Taylor Pool and the run is through residential areas on a mostly flat course. It ends at the south end of Rumsey Park.
The two-loop bike course contains two challenging hills — one at Airport Hill and the other on Vista Road.
At least five water stations will be strategically positioned along the course.
Entrants may compete in the triathlon either as an individual or as a three-person team.
All will compete in one of five age groups ranging from 15 years to 70-plus.
Individual entry fees are $50. Team fees are $75.
After the May 29 deadline, a $25 late fee will be accessed.
All pre-registered competitors will receive a souvenir T-shirt.
Check-in on race day begins at 6 a.m. at Taylor Pool.
Although the triathlon is not sanctioned, it will be chip timed.
For more information, call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7, or visit www.paysonparks.com.
Benefit swim meet
It sounds like a heck of a good way to spend a warm, summer day.
It involves participating in the first-ever community-wide swim meet that will be held 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 30 at Taylor Pool.
While the program is still being planned by parent coordinator Chris Giarrizzo, town recreation leader Deb Rose and Payson Pikes swim coach Wendy Ward, the meet will be open to swimmers of all ages for a registration fee of $5. Swimmers will compete in age groups from 6 years and under to 70 years and older.
Swimmers will be allowed to compete in three events.
The possibilities are freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and individual medley.
Lifeguard relays will also be featured.
Giarrizzo also anticipates a snack bar will be open and a silent auction will be held.
For more information, call Ward at (928) 468-0137 or log on to www.paysonparks.com.