Winter Weather Wears Out Welcome

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Mother Nature is playing tricks on the Payson High School track and field team.

But that’s nothing unusual — she does it almost every season with rained and snowed out meets forcing the young athletes to wait in eager anticipation for the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of someone other than teammates and coaches.

Mom’s most recent rant against PHS occurred March 9 with the cancellation of the Red Rock All-Purple Invitational in Sedona.

With it gone by the wayside, the athletes will not return to action until March 19 at Round Valley High School in Eagar-Springerville.

Most important about that meet is that Mother Nature can’t pull off her usual foolishness — the clash will be held indoors in the RVHS Ensphere, the only domed high school stadium in the United States.

The meet will represent the second indoor competition Payson High School’s track teams are involved in this season.

The first occurred March 2 at the Northland Academy Classic in Walkup Skydome on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

There, the Lady Horns finished fourth overall, posting 32 points.

Among the teams to finish behind Payson, was state defending champion Blue Ridge, which prompted coach Jonathan Ball to say, “I was happy with the way we competed there.”

The boys carded 5-1/2 points and were 15th.

For the Lady Horns, senior Maddie Nossek shined by winning the long jump with a leap of 16 feet, 10-1/2 inches. She also was second in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 2 inches, which tied her personal best. In the 200 meters, she sprinted to a silver medal in an ET of 27.80.

“She had nice meet,” said Ball.

In the 400 meters, Kierstin Mock was fifth in 1:05.28. Katie Welker took sixth in the 400 in 1:06.04. Ball lauded both runners saying, “I was really encouraged with those times as they were both great early season times.”

The 4x400 relay team of Tanya Olson, Kyndel Lann, Welker and Mock also drew plaudits for their fifth-place finish in 4:36.82.

For the boys team, Kyle Raecke was fifth (9.72) in the 60-meter hurdles, Levi Sopeland soared 11 feet, 5 inches to tie for fifth in the pole vault, and the 4x400 relay team was fifth in 3:51.84.

On the team were Ezra White, Gunner Bauer, Tyler Aguirre and Raecke.

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