Lady Longhorn hopes of winning the 3A East track and field championship came up 50 points short at the regional championships held May 7 in Snowflake.
Payson posted 105 points, many of them earned by senior Maddie Nossek, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Show Low Lady Cougars, who ran away with the title, accumulating 155 points. With 124.5, Snowflake was second and Payson third.
PHS coach Jonathan Ball had argued all season that the race for the crown could go to either of the three schools, and his prognostication proved to be a direct hit as the trio of rivals waged a back and forth war.
For Payson, Maddie Nossek turned in another sterling performance, winning the 200 meters (26.28), high jump (5 feet, 2 inches), long jump (17 feet, 5.25 inches) and 100 meters (12.84).
While all her gold-medal marks were impressive, the long jump was a doozy — almost three feet farther than the runner-up.
The Lady Horns also received a banner showing from Holly West in both the shot put and discus.
In the discus, she won with a throw of 95 feet, 2 inches that turned out to be seven feet farther than the runner-up.
She won the shot put with a heave of 34 feet, 9 inches, another top showing in the event.
Morgan Chilson, only a freshman, earned two silver medals, finishing second behind Nossek in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
In the 100, she was clocked in 13.30 and in the 200, her time was 26.77 — only .49 behind Nossek.
The Lady Longhorns now advance to the 3A state meet to be held May 13, 14 and 15 on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.