The stars that shined the brightest at the Four Corners Invitational cross country meet in Flagstaff were super runners Rolonda Jumbo of Chinle and Flagstaff’s Tatianna Gillick.
The speedy pair finished one-two respectively and were the only runners in the 149-runner field to break the coveted 19-minute barrier.
Jumbo, one of the finest long distance runners in Arizona and for that matter, the country, was timed in 18:02 and Gillick was clocked in 18:11.
The third place runner, Mingus’ Emma Schraner, finished in 19.25.
The Lady Longhorn contingent turned in a solid performance finishing 13th in the 21-team field that included some of the state’s finest cross country teams including those from the northern Arizona reservation schools that annually dominate the sport.
Behind Jumbo’s effort Chinle was first, Flagstaff took second and Mingus was third.
Individually for Payson, junior Ashley Spear paced the team with a 48th place finish in 21.55.9.
Freshman McKyla McCrary was second among the Payson runners at Four Corners finishing 53rd in 22:07.
Erin Huffman was 68th in a time of 22:37.2 — a commendable showing for an untested freshman runner.
Logan Conway, a promising sophomore, was 84th in 23:19.
Sarah Cluff rounded out the PHS effort taking 82nd in 23.14.8.
As a team, the Lady Horns averaged 22:52.32 over the 5K course.
In the boys competition, Payson did not receive a team score because it did not field the minimum four runners due to academic ineligibilities.
Among those who competed, Jamie Wadington was 63rd in 18:09.9 and Dawson Beeson crossed the finish line 98th in 18:57.
A total of 178 runners representing 10 teams participated.
Next up for the two track teams is the Shane Morris Invitational to be contested Sept. 24 at Woodland Park in Pinetop.
On Sept. 30, the teams travel to Gilbert Toka Sticks Golf Course for the Desert Twilight Festival — an invitational coach Jonathan Ball calls, “a highlight of the season.”