Phs Track Team Pair Star In 4 Miler


A pair of Payson High School track and field team members ran their way to gold-medal finishes in the inaugural Monsoon 4 Miler road race.

Isom White was the overall male winner, covering the distance in 31:26.00, and Natalie Moceri was tops among the females, winning in 33.30.

Both were competing in the 15-19 years age group.

For Parks and Recreation special events coordinator Deb Rose, the wins by the duo were enjoyable.

“It was fun to see so many of our young runners out there leading the pack and winning the race,” she said.

As Longhorn track team members, White was last year a member of a very good 4x800 relay team and Moceri competed in the sprints, mainly the 100 meters.

For the 4 Miler, a field of about 40 runners and walkers turned out, which, “was a good turnout for a first-ever event,” Rose said.

Most all those who participated were local residents and their ages covered a wide spectrum from 15 to 80 years.

In White’s win, he had to fend off a challenge from his father, Colt, who was second overall, just nine seconds behind. Colt was competing in the 50-59 years age division.

For the Whites, the race was a family affair, with Isom’s mother and Colt’s wife, Julie, also participating. Julie was third among the women in 33:35.

Also participating was former Boston Marathon qualifier Linda Gibson, who was timed in 33:36.

Among the older set, Tom Cooka finished in 39:06.00 while competing in the 80-years-and-older division.

Cooka has been a staple on the Rim Country running scene since his retirement from the Santa Fe Railroad in Winslow more than two decades ago. Running the 4 Miler and winning his age division title at the 2011 P.F. Chang Marathon in January were just more feathers in the cap of the running warrior who, as a 50-plus-year-old, competed for Northland Pioneer College and is a former National Senior Olympics champion.


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