The Lady Longhorn cross country team enjoyed a successful 2011 season debut finishing fifth in the Marcos de Niza Padre Invitational in which Payson was the only Division IV team and pitted against much larger Valley-area “big schools.”
The Lady Horns six-person team combined for 128 points to edge Greenway, which had 130, for the fifth-place finish.
With 54 points, Tempe High was first, edging a Red Mountain squad that carded 58 tallies.
The meet was contested Sept. 3 at Tempe Kiwanis Park.
Individually, McKyla McCrary was Payson’s top finisher taking 18th place in the 51-runner field. McCrary was timed over the 5K course in 22:18.
PHS coach Jonathan Ball said McCrary’s performance was no surprise because she had been very impressive in preseason training.
Sophomore Logen Conway was hot on McCrary’s heels most of the race eventually finishing 20th in 22:32.
Ball has praised Conway saying, “Logen looks like she can make some major improvements from her frosh season as she had a very consistent track season.
“With some dedication to practice, she can elevate herself to being one of the better runners in our section.”
Also at the Padre Invitational, Ashley Spear was 24th in 22:53 and Sarah Cluff took 25th covering the course in 23:05.
Erin Huffman was 41st (25.37) and Adrianna Barnes took 43rd (25.49).
The invitational winner, Courtney Goodrich of Chandler Basha, won easily in 18.33, about one minute and 20 seconds faster than runner-up Diana Garcia of Tempe.
In the boys competition, Jamie Wadington was the only runner to compete for Payson. Official results show he was 28th in the 49-runner field, but was disqualified for unknown reasons
The Lady Horns and the boys team travel tomorrow, Sept. 10, to Fountain Hills for the “At The Fountain” race.