PHS senior Matt Wilson needed a personal record throw in the shot put to win the event at the Class 3A Arizona State Track and Field Championships, held May 15 and 16 at Mesa High School.
As he has done most all of his athletic career at Payson High, Wilson responded with a PR heave of 49 feet — almost a foot farther than he threw in winning the East region championship. But the mark was only good enough for the bronze medal, because Fountain Hills’ Alex Smyth threw 51 feet, 2 inches to take the gold, and Snowflake’s Jordan Hunt was second at 49 feet, .75 inches.
With the track and field season now in the rearview mirror, Wilson will steer his way to Northern Arizona University where, next season, he will become a member of the Lumberjack football team.
In the pole vault, defending state champion Nick Goodman couldn’t hold on to his title. He tied for second place, but fell to third on a tiebreaker. Goodman and Blue Ridge’s Trevan Penrod both cleared 13 feet, but Penrod was awarded the silver and Goodman the bronze. Blue Ridge’s Keevan Schimmel cleared 14 feet, 3 inches to claim first.
Payson’s Bo Althoff who vaulted 16 feet, 5.75 inches in 1992, holds the 3A state record in the event. The past several seasons, Althoff has worked with PHS’s vaulters as a volunteer assistant coach.
In the high jump, Cody York matched his season’s best leap of 6 feet, 4 inches to tie for second, but fell to fifth on a tiebreaker.
In the event, five qualifiers jumped 6 feet, 4 inches including eventual champion Tevin Renfro of Winslow.
Payson’s Ryan Hintze cleared 6 feet, 3 inches and was sixth.
Hintze and York also teamed with Nic Creighton and Brandon Alexander to finish fifth in the 4x100 relay in 44.17. Estrella Foothills’ 43.38 clocking was fastest among the 13 qualifying teams.
In the 400 meters, Creighton was timed in 51.84 to finish seventh overall.
Shane Crisp, Creighton, York and Hintze were seventh in the 4x400 relay in 3:32.09.
Keith Williams also took seventh-place points by pole-vaulting 12 feet, 3 inches.
Hintze added an eighth-place showing to his state effort with a leap of 19 feet, 11.25 inches in the long jump.