Virtually all the Payson High School track and field athletes who participated in the 73rd Annual Chandler Rotary Invitational bettered the pre-meet seeded times they took into the competition.
For example, pole vaulter Shannon Kohl took a 10-feet, 6.25 inch seed into the event, but cleared 11 feet, 6 inches to finish 10th during the open competition held March 22 on Austin Field at Chandler High School.
High jumper Jesse Berry also showed significant improvement at Chandler, leaping to a fourth place finish at 5 feet, 10 inches after taking a 5-feet, 8-inch seed to the meet.
In the 110 hurdles, Bubba Nielson finished 18th in 17.41 which was .53 faster than his pre-meet seed.
Rachel Knauer was eighth in the 400 meters in 1:03.88, which cut three seconds off her seed.
One of the most improved marks was Erin Huffman’s 12:12.81 in the 3200 meters, where she was third. She entered with a 12.52.00 seed.
Freshman Wyatt Chapman ran to sixth in the open 200 in 23.05. His seed was 24.04
The Lady Longhorn 4x400 relay team of Michelle Schatz, Morgan Chilson, Dana Svir and Knauer entered the meet with a 4:25 seed, but ran at 4:19.71 to win the bronze medal.
Schatz also competed in the 100 meters and was eighth in 13.01.
In the 200 meters she ran 27.61 to take 10th.
The day following the open invitational, another meet was held that featured only the top seeded athletes in their events.
Payson sprinters Morgan Chilson and Wyatt Chapman qualified. Chilson ran 12.97 in the 100 finals and was ninth; Chapman, only a freshman, was 15th in the boy’s 100 meters in 11.47.
The prestigious meet drew more than 100 schools from around the country to Chandler High.
For the first time in the history of the competition, no team scores were recorded.
Action resumes for the PHS track and field team members tomorrow, Wednesday, March 27 at the Safford Tri-County meet.