As two of Division III’s fastest sprinters, Payson’s Morgan Chilson and Savannah Brown of St. Johns have over the past four years locked horns in some epic track and field battles that have thrilled fans, spectators and coaches.
On March 15 in the Round Valley Invitational inside the RVHS dome in Eagar, the two put on yet another flashy toe-to-toe performance in the 200-meter dash
Brown eventually survived the dual, winning in 26.82. With a clocking of 27.47, Chilson was second.
While Chilson is one of the division’s best in the 200, it might not be her best race, having performed somewhat better over the years in the 100 meters.
At Round Valley, however, the two did not compete in the 100 meters partly because this is the time of year coaches juggle their athletes in and out of events as training tools.
Without Chilson and Brown in the 100, Blue Ridge’s Naomi Shimmel won in a so-so 13.32.
In addition to Chilson running the 200, she anchored the 4x400 relay team to a second-place showing in 4:31.79.
Savannah Grassel, Danya Svir and Rachel Knauer were on the foursome with Chilson.
Svir also qualified for the finals of the 100 meters and ran a 13.85 to take seventh and tied for fifth in the high jump (4 feet, 8 inches).
With some team members missing at the RVHS hosted meet due to Payson High’s spring break, Erin Huffman stepped up to become the Lady Longhorns’ long-distance threat in the 1500 meters where she placed fourth (6:04.80). In the 3200 meters she ran to third (13.28.19).
Huffman also ran the opening leg of the bronze medal winning 4x800 relay team. Kandace Baez, Abby Greenleaf and Grassel ran the other three legs.
Grassel showcased her all-around athletic ability by finishing 11th in a 29-entrant field in the shot put with a toss of 26 feet. It’s not often on a track team a member competes in events as diverse as long distance running and the shot put but Grassel pulled it off.
Jessie Cline contributed team points by taking fifth in the long jump (14 feet, 2.25 inches) and seventh in the triple jump (28 feet, 6.75 inches).
Although the team effort at RVHS was hampered a bit due to the absence of some tracksters, the Lady Horns took fourth in the 14-team field with 48.66 points. Blue Ridge (121.66) was first, Snowflake (109.5) second and Winslow (59) third. Tomorrow, March 20, the Lady Horns travel to Sedona High School for the Sedona Red Rock Friendship meet.