With the 2013 track and field regular season winding down, Lady Longhorn team members are focusing on being in tiptop shape for the grand daddy of the sport — the Division III state championships.
The gold medal games, to be held May 10 and 11 at Mesa College, will pit top-ranked athletes in all the events against one another.
Senior speedster Morgan Chilson is among the PHS athletes who has a legitimate chance to medal, most likely with a gold in the 100 meters.
Currently Chilson is D-III’s top-ranked sprinter, having recorded a personal and state best 12.57 earlier this season.
Chilson has been a sprint star since she was a freshman, but sometimes was hampered by slow starts. At the onset of this season, Chilson said she had worked hard to improve her starts and the diligence appears to be paying off.
Breanne Myers of Tucson Santa Rita has run 12.64 and most likely will be Chilson’s top competition for a gold medal.
Also in the 100, Lady Longhorn Michelle Schatz has run 12.96 and is state eighth-ranked.
It’s entirely probable that when the state 100-meter finals are run — after several preliminary heats — PHS will have two qualifiers for the first time in many, many years.
“I think the last time we had two (sprinters) in the finals was 1980 when Hans Schoenborn was coaching,” said longtime PHS track coach Chuck Hardt. “I believe it was Marie Ralston and Sandy Western.”
In addition to Chilson and Schatz starring in the 100, the two run legs on the 4x100 relay 4x400 relay teams.
The 4x100 team, which also includes Danya Svir and Rachel Knauer, has run 51.90 and is state fifth-ranked.
The 4x400 relay team, which features the same four runners, is state sixth-ranked with an ET of 4.19.71.
For the 4x100 sprint relay team to contend for state gold, the group most likely will have to run closer to 50 seconds flat.
The 4x400 foursome needs to cut about 10 seconds off their PR to be in the running for a state medal.
The Lady Horns also have in their arsenal a very good 4x800 relay team that has been clocked in 10:27.24 and is state sixth-ranked.
Abby Greenleaf, Mckyla McCrary, Savannah Grassel and Erin Huffman are on the team.
In the high jump, Svir has cleared 5 feet, 2 inches and is tied for fifth in the state.
Having cleared that height, she’s not far away from the top-ranked high jumper — Safford’s Jordan Abalos who has soared 5 feet, 4 inches.
The Lady Horns have another opportunity to fine tune their skills in preparation for state tomorrow, April 24, at the Lupe Acevedo relays in Lakeside.
(Note: The preview of PHS boys going to state runs April 26).