Payson High senior speedster Morgan Chilson etched her way into school record books by winning two gold medals at the Division III state championships.
Competing May 10 and 11 at Mesa College, Chilson — whose father Ty was a state champion sprinter in the mid-1980s — was first in the 100 meters in a personal record 12.55. In the preliminaries, she qualified with a first-place time of 12.72.
Chilson also dominated the 200 meters, finishing first in a very fast 25.81. She qualified for finals with a 26.83 in the preliminaries and was third.
“Morgan was terrific,” said coach Jonathan Ball.
Although Chilson has been a force in the 100 meters since she was a freshman, she only began to excel in the 200 this season.
She credits her success to better starting techniques.
Chilson’s teammate, Michelle Schatz, who transferred to PHS from California this school year, was seventh in the 100 finals in 12.95. In the preliminaries she was clocked in 12.82 and was fourth. In the 200, Schatz ran a PR 26.67 to take sixth. She qualified for the finals with a 26.83 in the prelims.
The girls 4x100 relay team finished fourth in 51.24. In the finals, Rachel Knauer, Danya Svir, Schatz and Chilson formed the team.
The team that competed in the prelims included Emily Lodano-Masse, Knauer, Schatz and Chilson.
The 4x800 relay team of Erin Huffman, Kandace Baez, Ahley Lewis and Makayla McCrary took eighth. In the 4x400 preliminaries, Schatz, Knauer, Svir and Abby Greenleaf qualified for the finals in 4:13.21.
Greenleaf, Ball said, “stepped up big in her first 4x400 to help us qualify for finals.”
In the finals of the 4x400, Schatz, Svir, Knauer and Chilson ran a 4:10.01 and were fifth.
In the boys 4x100, Trevor Clawson, Noel Struning, Payson Bobier and Wyatt Chapman took second with an ET of 42.88 which was just .28 seconds slower than the winning team from Williams Field.
The 4x400 relay team comprised of the same foursome was fifth in a PR time of 3:26.74.
“This relay team has been very fun to watch the past three weeks. The team had been battling back and forth with Show Low and it was nice to see our boys step up in a big moment,” said Ball.
In team scoring, the Payson girls were eighth, with 35.33 points, in the 29-team field. In the 31-team boys field, Payson was 11th with 20 points.
Ball summed up the PHS efforts at Mesa saying, “Overall, I thought we had two great days.”