Morgan Chilson’s 100-meter time of 13.40 wasn’t particularly head-turning, but it was good enough to take first place at the Fountain Hills Veterans Memorial Track and Field Invitational.
The speedy Chilson, a sophomore, has a PR of 12.94, which is the fourth fastest time this year in Division III.
Also at Fountain Hills, Chilson ran her way to firstplace honors in an event in which she doesn’t usually compete — the 400 meters.
Her time of 1:03.43 was about a full second faster than runner-up Mattie Gomez of Scottsdale Prep.
“That was only the second time she (Chilson) has run the open 400 and she won easily,” said Ball. “She was the most dominant female athlete out there.”
It’s not a given that Chilson will continue to compete in the 400 meters but, if she does, she must break the one-minute barrier to be in the running for the gold at the upcoming Division III “State” meet.
Estrella Foothill’s Jasmin Pratt has the fastest D-III time this year of 57.64. Liberty’s Ashley Kealamaki has run 58.12. The two are the only D-III runners to have bested one minute this season.
Danya Svir was the only other Lady Longhorn to emerge from the Veterans Invitational with a gold medal, winning the high jump clearing 4 feet, 9 inches.
Svir also ran a leg on the 4x100 relay team that finished third. On the team with her were Jaymi Carlen, Janelle Hauptmann and Chilson.
In the pole vault, Hauptmann cleared 7 feet, 6 inches to take second, and in the long jump, she was fourth with a mark of 13 feet, 3.75 inches.
In the high jump, she cleared 4 feet 8 inches to tie three other girls for second.
Following her yeoman-like performance, Hauptmann, only a freshman, drew praise from Ball, “She scored 19.5 points for us and had a huge meet.
“She has made improvements every meet.”
Also contributing big time to the PHS cause was newcomer Lydia Galster. In the 800 meters, she was third in 2:33.80 and in the hotly contested 4x400 relay she teamed with Liz Harpe, Jaymi Carlen and Bethany Sprinkle to win the silver medal in 4:25.67.
The time was just .35 of a second off Paradise Valley’s winning clocking.
Having Hauptmann and Galster step up and perform on the varsity level was a plus for the Lady Horns because several athletes were missing, looking after other obligations.
“We were short-handed due to a number of other things like the ACT and the student government trip to Georgia,” Ball said. “The athletes we brought performed very well.”
Indeed they did, as final results show the Lady Horns finished second overall behind champion Estrella Foothills.
PHS racked up 108 points and EF finished at 124. Estrella’s win was not a surprise as it is widely regarded as a powerful team that many predict will contend next month for the D-III title.
A field of nine teams competed in the invitational.
The Lady Horns travel today, April 15, to Lakeside to compete in the Blue Ridge Invitational.