PHS senior Payson Bobier has nailed down an automatic qualifying berth into the state tournament by running a personal best 50.72 in the 400 meters.
Bobier set the mark finishing second in the event at the Red Rock Invitational April 6 in Sedona.
The state track and field meet will play out May 10 and 11 at Mesa College.
Many prep athletes must wait until the season’s end to see in their marks are among Division III’s top-24, which would earn them a state seed. But Bobier will not have to fret over qualifying because he now has an automatic seed.
In addition to setting a 400-meter PR, Bobier won the 200 meters in 23.38. In winning, he defeated Camp Verde’s Justin Reay who edged the Longhorn speedster in the 400 meters. In the 200, Reay was second in 23.43. In the 400, his winning time was .82 of a second faster that Bobier.
The Longhorn speedster also ran a leg on the 4x400 relay team that was third at Sedona in 3:36.22
Trevor Clawson, Michael Anderson and Logan Morris were also on the team.
In the high jump, Payson’s one-two punch of Richard Nielsen and Morris turned in one of their best performances of the season. Neilsen cleared a PR 6-foot, 4-inches to tie for second. Morris went over 6-foot, 2-inches and was sixth.
“When those two have their steps right, they are really good,” said coach Jonathan Ball.
Neilsen also took fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (44.93) and was seventh in the 110-meter hurdles (17.86).
In the triple jump, Jared Varner soared 38 feet, 8 inches and was fourth in the 14-person field.
R.J. Cox-Robinson, a standout on the 2012 Horn football team, threw 40 feet, 6 inches to take sixth in the shot put. He was also seventh the 300-meter hurdles.
In the 200 meters which Bobier won, Payson’s Noel Struning was third (24.01) and Trevor Clawson was fifth (24.39) giving the Horns a strong presence in the event.
In the 100-meter sprint, Struning was fourth (11.63) and Clawson tied for fifth (11.82).
The Horns travel tomorrow, April 13 to Fountain Hills for the Falcon Invitational. Start time is 8:30 a.m.