Payson Duo Bound For State


Much like a finely tuned 500 horsepower race car gobbles up track, Morgan Chilson and Blake Brown are speeding past opponents on their way to the state championship track and field finals.

The state, or Division III meet, will be held May 12 and 13 at Mesa Community College.

Throughout the regular season Chilson and Brown have given indications they will be gold medal contenders at MCC.

Among the dynamic duo’s performances that tout them as state championship material were the efforts turned in April 21 at the Safford Booster Club Invitational meet.

In it, Brown and Chilson earned three medals each.

Probably the most dramatic win was Chilson’s run to gold in the 100-meter dash in 13.26.

In taking first, the Payson speedster outran longtime nemesis Savannah Brown of St. Johns who was second in 13.64. The two sophomore rivals have been battling one another since middle school and are two of the finer sprinters in small-town Arizona.

In the 200 meters at Safford, Brown rebounded from the 100-meter defeat to nip Chilson who finished second. Brown was clocked in 26.70 and Chilson in 27.04.

Chilson earned her third medal by finishing as bronze medalist in the 400-meter dash.

Blake Brown’s best event might be the high jump and he was at his best in Safford clearing 6 feet, 2 inches to tie for first place with Thatcher’s Nick Orr. On a fewer misses tie breaker, Orr took first and Brown fell to second.

In the long jump, Brown soared 20 feet, 10.25 inches and was second behind Snowflake’s Tyler Johnson, who went 21 feet, 1 inch.

In the triple jump field of 24 entrants, Brown was ninth at 37 feet, 8 inches.

Freshman Logan Conway proved at Safford that she is a budding star by taking second in the 3200 meters (13:28.59) and third in the 1600 (6:05.29).

Lydia Galster ran a 2:37.75 clocking to win the 800-meter run. Teammate Sarah Cluff was third in 2:41.62.

Both are juniors with a year of eligibility remaining to further fine tune their half-mile skills.

In the boys 800 meters, Sam Grassel was clocked in 2:10.65 and was fourth in a 20-runner field.

Grassel also joined forces with Isom White, Jamie Wadington and Tanner Hodges to finish second in the 4x800 relay.

A feat at Safford that undoubtedly had Bo Althoff beaming with pride was Keith Williams soaring over 14 feet to easily win the pole vault.

Althoff is currently the boys and girls pole vault coach and is the school record holder in the event with a vault of 16 feet, 6 inches, a mark he set in 1992.

In the hotly contested women’s 4x100 relay, the foursome of Janelle Hauptmann, Jaymi Carlen, Danya Svir and Kristian Cordell earned themselves a bronze medal with a time of 53.54 that was just .52 off the pace of the winning St. Johns team.

As teams at Safford, both the boys and girls finished third.

The boys scored 80.5 points in the 14-team field and the girls tallied 94.5 points among the 16 teams that participated.

A very powerful Snowflake squad won the boys title with 162.5 points. Safford claimed the girls title with 129.


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