Illness prohibited Payson High School sophomore Morgan Chilson from traveling to the Winslow Invitational on April 29, but had she gone along, the Lady Longhorn speedster probably would have won at least two gold medals.
In the 100 meters at Winslow, Flagstaff’s Amanda Stricker was first in 14.06.
Chilson has a PR of a much faster 12.94
In the 200 meters at Winslow, Snowflake’s Faythe Duran won in 28.85. This year, Chilson has been clocked in 27.15 and even faster at the end of last season.
Since the Winslow Invitational was conducted in extreme winds and gusts, it’s tough to predict how an absent athlete might have performed in those conditions. But Chilson’s times and efforts over the season seem to indicate she might have shrugged off the weather to emerge a gold medal winner.
In mid-April at the Safford Booster Invitational, Chilson turned in one of the highlights of her brief prep career defeating, in the 100 meters, longtime nemesis Savannah Brown of St. Johns.
It was the first time Chilson had outrun Brown and the Payson speedster might credit the victory to a strong start.
If Chilson continues to improve her starts, she could contend against some of Division III’s best sprinters including Estrella Foothill’s Jasmin Pratt and Darreyl Woodson of Higley.
Since Chilson’s illness, she has returned to team practices and her father, Ty, says she should be at full strength May 6 for the Snowflake Last Chance Invitational.
Although the Lady Horns were shorthanded without Chilson in Winslow, the team turned in a commendable showing to finish sixth in the 16-team field.
“We feel we did fairly well,” said assistant coach Chuck Yale.
Also for Payson in Winslow, Katelyn Cordell turned in a sterling performance in the 300-meter hurdles finishing second in a very quick time of 51.29. Cordell was also a member of the 4x100 relay team that was sixth in 55.05.
On the team with her were Janelle Hauptmann, Danya Svir and Jaymi Carlen, who was also second in the long jump with a leap of 13 feet, 10 inches. Hauptmann was fourth in the long jump at 13 feet, 5 inches.
In the triple jump, Bailey Patterson leapt to a bronze medal with a mark of 29 feet, 1 inch.
The 100-meter hurdles event, always tough to compete in during windy conditions, saw Jackie Ballam take second place in 19.86 — just .23 seconds off the pace of the winner Delight Teller of Tuba City.
The 800-meter run at Winslow drew Chinle’s nationally ranked Rolando Jumbo, which meant every other entrant could give up hope of a gold medal.
As expected, Jumbo won easily in 2:24.58.
But Payson’s Lydia Galster turned in a strong effort finishing third in 2:34.19.
Following the Last Chance in Snowflake, the Lady Horns have a week off to prepare for the Division III or “state” tournament to be held May 13 and 14 on the ASU campus.