Rim Stars Shine In History Of Chandler Invite

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The Payson High School track team’s upcoming appearance in the historic Chandler Rotary Invitational is a reminder that there have been PHS sports stars who have enjoyed their finest hours in the prestigious meet.

Among the biggest thrills for PHS sports fans occurred in 2002 when Lady Horn Whitney Hardt upset then 5A cross-country champ Sally Myerhoff in the 1600- and 3200-meter runs.

The tongues of track buffs from around the state continue to wag about the day a diminutive unknown from small-town Arizona dazzled the Duke University-bound Myerhoff who at the time attended Tempe Mountain Pointe High School.

Sadly, Myerhoff went on to collegiate and professional stardom before being killed in the spring of 2011 in a car-bicycle accident in Maricopa.

Among other amazing Payson performances at the Chandler Invitational was one turned in during the 1992 season when the Lady Horns were coached by Donna Reid. For the Chandler meet, PHS qualified only two athletes — Nicole Engstrom and Lura Goldman. But, the two ran, jumped and threw to the meet championships, racking up 42 points. Mesa Red Mountain, a 5A school, was second with 41 points. Engstrom’s and Goldman’s performances continue to be one of the most remarkable efforts in the 72-year history of the Chandler Invitational — two teen girls from a small, rural high school out-scored entire teams from “big schools” located in metropolitan Tucson, Phoenix and around the state.

At the time Reid’s girls won the Rotary title, her husband, Dan, was the boys track team head coach and was one of the most respected and revered coaches in Arizona. Only last year, he was inducted into the Arizona Coaches Association Hall of Fame. But as fine a coach as he was, his wife trumped him at Chandler.

Supply Line Fun Run

The American Legion Riders 7th annual Charity Fun Run to benefit the Payson Supply Line will be held May 12, starting at American Legion Post 69, 709 E. Highway 260.

Besides the Fun Run, there will be T-shirt sales, food, raffles and music by Blue Frog.

Over the past six years, the run has raised thousands of dollars for the Payson Supply Line, which provides much-needed personal items of comfort and care to military personnel in combat. The goal of the fun run is to this year earn at least $10,000. For more information, log on to paysonsupplyline.com.

An invitation to join

Payson Women’s Golf Association member Kelly O’Neil is issuing an invitation to join the local group.

She says, “The 2012 season for the Payson Women’s Golf Association begins Tuesday, March 27 with the annual kick-off breakfast at the Mazatzal Casino at 9 a.m. All Rim Country women are invited to bring their clubs for a just-for-fun round of golf afterward.”

The PWGA plays every Tuesday morning at the Payson Golf Course. League play officially begins April 3 and runs through Oct. 30. The season includes weekly games, a mix of fun tournaments and competitive tournaments including the Club Championship and the State Medallion, monthly luncheon meetings and a variety of social activities. League membership includes all ages and skill levels and many of the tournaments are flighted, so everyone has a chance to win.

Those interested in being a PWGA member or who want to learn more about the league, come to the Mazatzal Casino for breakfast on March 27 or call O’Neill at (928) 478-0003.

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