The Red Rock Invitational offered Payson High track team members the opportunity to test their skills against many of the very same opponents they will meet in the Division III state tournament when it is held May 11 and 12 at Mesa College.
Which means the local athletes returned to PHS from the March 31 meet knowing exactly what they must do in order to earn a state medal.
Jaymi Carlen is among those who showed at Red Rock she could contend for state honors in several events.
In the triple jump, Carlen went 31 feet, 11 inches to finish second behind Sedona’s Nyomi Mosley who jumped 33 feet.
Carlen was also third in the long jump with a leap of 14 feet, 6 inches. The event winner, Nyomi Mosley of Sedona soared 15 feet, 7 1/2 inches.
In the pole vault, Carlen cleared 8 feet to tie for fourth. Mohave’s Blair Benefield was first at 9 feet, 6 inches.
Carlen also teamed with Bailey Patterson, Morgan Chilson and Bethany Sprinkle to take second in the 4x400 relay. Mohave was first about four seconds faster than the Payson foursome.
With improvement and precise exchanges, the Lady Horns could eventually outrun Mohave.
Chilson could also contend for a state gold in the 100 meters if she can break the 13-second barrier.
At Red Rock, she turned in a 13.20 clocking that was second behind Mohave’s Torey Braley who ran a 12.97.
Patterson is in the 400-meter mix to medal at state having finished fifth at RR in 1:05.46.
To earn an automatic berth to state, Bailey must run 1:01.39 before the end of the season.
There is, however one athlete that this season has broken the magical one-minute barrier. Estrella Foothills speedster Jasmin Pratt has been clocked in 59.12.
The boys 4x400 relay team could be another medal contender if they can improve on the 3:37.52 clocking that earned them a Red Rock silver medal.
Payson Bobier, Logan Morris, Cameron Romance and Keith Williams are on the team.
In addition to Morris being a member of the relay team, he is adept in the high jump having finished second clearing 5 feet, 10 inches.
Williams also excels in the pole vault going over the bar at 14 feet to take first at Red Rock.
Teammate Levi Sopeland vaulted 13 feet and was second.
Bobier showed the speed he needs to contend at state by finishing third in the Red Rock 400 meters.
His time of 51.89 seconds was just over one second slower than the winning time of Mohave’s Billy Fraser.