Almost every time Payson High School senior sprinter Morgan Chilson steps on a prep track, a record is set and gold medals are won.
In her most recent standard-breaking performance — March 27 at the Safford Tri-County Meet — she ran a blistering 26.42 in the 200 meters that was both a personal record and the easily fastest ET turned this season in Division III.
Most stunning about Chilson’s accomplishment is that the 200 has not been her best event since she first splashed on the high school track and field scene four years ago as a raw freshman.
Most often, she is more successful in the 100 than the 200.
The win in Safford, stamps Chilson as the sprinter to beat in the 200 meters when the D-III state championships are held May 10 and 11 at Mesa Community College.
In addition to setting the 200 mark, Chilson won the 100 meters in 12.89 and ran legs on the winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.
“She was undefeated on the day,” said Ball.
Danya Svir, Rachel Knauer and Michelle Schatz were on both relay teams with Chilson.
Knauer, only a freshman also won the open 400-meters in 1:03.81. Schatz, who was second, about three seconds behind Knauer, supplied her stiffest competition.
In the 200 meter final, in which Chilson set the D-III mark, Knauer was third (28.00) and Svir fourth (28.16).
Following the meet, Ball praised Kanuer saying, “She had an excellent meet” considering she is an untested freshman.
Schatz, who transferred to PHS this school year from her former home in California, took second in the 100 meters in 13.28. Teamed with Chilson, the speedy pair gives the Lady Longhorns perhaps the best one-two sprinting punch in D-III.
In fact, when Knauer is added to the equation, the Lady Horns might own the best one-two-three punch.
In the 4x800 relay team, the foursome of Mckyla McCrary, Kandace Baez, Mackenzie Mann and Savannah Grassel contributed all important points to the PHS team cause by finishing second (11.11:24) to host Safford.
Abby Greenleaf and Natalie Moceri represented Payson in the grueling 3200 meters and were fourth and sixth respectively.
The two were also sixth and seventh in the 1600-meter runs behind McCrary, who was fifth.
In the field events, Svir leaped 5-feet to finish second behind Safford’s Jordan Abalos who cleared 5 feet, 2 inches.
The efforts of the Lady Longhorn individuals in Safford lifted PHS to a second place finish among 11 teams. The Lady Horns carded 129 points which was bested only by Safford’s 180.5.
Ball summed up the meet by saying, “We had some great things happened down there.”
The track team returns to action at 3 p.m. tomorrow, March 3, in the Chuck Hardt Coed Relays on PHS field.