Lady Longhorn speedster Morgan Chilson’s chances for winning a 100-meter Division III state gold medal most likely hinge on her breaking the 13-second barrier.
Attaining the much-coveted mark is what it will likely take to outrun some of the state’s best sprinters, including Lieke Elberson of Show Low, St. Johns star Savannah Brown, Estrella Foothills’ Jasmine Pratt and Darreyl Woodson of Higley.
All have edged past 13 seconds this season.
Chilson’s fastest time this year was a 13.15 she ran at the Chandler Rotary Invitational that came up just short of the D-III automatic qualifying standard of 13.02.
Last season, Chilson — now a PHS junior — eclipsed the 13-second barrier turning in a 12.94 effort at the Chandler Invitational. She also ran 12.96 in winning the 100 meters at the Snowflake Invitational.
Most recently, she ran a 13.23 winning the 100 meters on April 11 at the Sedona Invitational.
Chilson’s father Ty, a state champion sprinter for PHS in the mid-1980s, says the key to his daughter breaking 13 seconds is getting out of the blocks fast and furious.
When she accomplishes that consistently, he says, she will be a contender in any meet she enters.
Chilson’s next opportunity to run in the 12-second range will be April 20 at the Safford Booster Invitational.
The D-III state championships, which Chilson will surely qualify for, will be held May 11 and 12 at Mesa Community College.
In addition to running the 100-meter dash, Chilson competes in the 200 meters and the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
In the 4x400 at the Red Rock Invitational on April 11, Chilson teamed with Bailey Patterson, Harley Turney and Jaymi Carlen to finish first in 4:22.60.
In the 4x100 at the Sedona Invitational, Chilson, Patterson, Carlen and Janelle Hauptman were second in 52.62 — .5 of a second behind the winning Notre Dame foursome.
The boys 4x100 relay team of Payson Bobier, Kyle Raeke, Keith Williams and Logan Morris was equally as successful as their female counterparts finishing second in 46.55. — just .3 of a second behind the winning Notre Dame team.
Also at Sedona, middle distance standout Lydia Galster turned in a 2:30.05 clocking to take first in the 800 meters.
In the high jump, Hauptman was first on fewer misses after five girls tied at 4 feet, 10 inches.
Payson finished 1-2 in the pole vault with Keith Williams clearing 13 feet, 6 inches and Levi Sopeland going over the bar at 13 feet.
In the triple jump, Carlen leaped 32 feet, 7 inches to take second.
Sedona gave the Longhorn tracksters a glimpse of some of those individuals they will meet at state.