Lady Longhorn sprinter Morgan Chilson came up just .39 of a second shy of winning the 100-meter gold medal at the prestigious Arizona Meet of Champions.
Chilson, the Arizona Division III 100- and 200-meter state champ, finished a close second in the 100 at the postseason track and field showcase contested May 15 at Brophy Prep High School in Phoenix.
Chilson was clocked in 12.73 and sprint winner, Alexis Center of Phoenix South Mountain, was timed in 12.34.
Chilson has a personal best 12.52, a mark she set May 1 at the Snowflake Invitational.
In winning the D-III 100 meters on May 10 at Mesa College she was timed in 12.55.
In the 200 meters at the Meet of Champions, Chilson was third in 26.24. Center was first with a time of 25.29 and Mount View Mesa’s Kylie Jorgenson was second with a time of 26.24.
Both sprint events marked the rekindling, and perhaps conclusion, of a four-year rivalry that has been one of the most hotly contested in small-town Arizona.
The competition involved St. Johns speedster Savannah Brown and Chilson.
When the pair were freshmen and sophomores, Brown usually held the advantage often nipping Chilson at the finish line.
But the past two years, Chilson has usually come out on top in the head-to-head battles.
At the Meet of Champions, Brown was third in the 100 meters .4 of a second off Chilson’s pace.
In the 200, Brown was fourth, .25 behind her Lady Horn rival.
With the regular season at an end and the Meet of Champions in the record books, Chilson and Brown might never meet again because both will graduate this week with the Class of 2013.
Chilson’s father, Ty, said Morgan is unsure whether she will continue her track and field exploits on the collegiate level.
Rather, he said, his daughter has a goal of becoming a nurse and might focus on academics in a college she has not yet settled on.
More Meet of Champions
In addition to Chilson receiving an invitation to the Meet of Champions, invites were issued to Michelle Schatz, Erin Huffman, Danya Svir and the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.
Schatz turned in a commendable performance taking fifth in the 200 meters (26.76) and ran a leg on the first-place finishing 4x100 relay team that also included Emily Lofano-Masse, Rachel Knauer and Chilson.
The 4x400 relay, made up of the same runners, was third (4:08.95), about seven seconds behind the winning Liberty foursome.
In the 3200 meters, Huffman, only a sophomore, was sixth in 12:12.51.
Svir tied for ninth in the high jump, leaping five feet.
A field of 71 high schools from Division I through IV sent representatives to the Meet of Champions.
Since the 1950s, the cream of Arizona track and field athletes have gathered at what was first known as the Luke-Greenway Meet of Champions to battle for bragging rights as the state’s best.
Originally, only state champions in all events from all prep conferences, 1A through 5A, were invited to attend.
In recent years, the meet has lost some of its luster as the finest athletes travel to out-of-state showdowns such as the Great Southwest and Keebler Invitational.
Nonetheless, the Meet of Champions continues to be the finest postseason classic in Arizona.