Athletes Endure Wind, Cold At Chuck Hardt Co-Ed Relays

Payson’s Jesse Barry attempts to clear 6 feet in the high jump during the Chuck Hardt Co-Ed Relays in Payson on April 2. Barry did indeed succeed to win the individual title and help PHS win the mixed high jump title.

Payson’s Jesse Barry attempts to clear 6 feet in the high jump during the Chuck Hardt Co-Ed Relays in Payson on April 2. Barry did indeed succeed to win the individual title and help PHS win the mixed high jump title. Photo by Keith Morris. |

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The temperature was in the low 40s.

And a strong wind made it seem even colder.

So the weather didn’t exactly cooperate during Payson High’s second and final track meet of the season.

Nonetheless, the athletes seemed to enjoy themselves at the Chuck Hardt Co-Ed Relays on April 2.

“Overall it was a great day,” said PHS coach Jonathan Ball. “The conditions got bad and it got very cold and windy, but I think most of the athletes had a fun time. It’s fun to team boys and girls in the same relay.

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Three PHS athletes try to stay warm on a cold and windy day.

“Even though it was so cold, there were a lot of smiles on our athletes’ faces. It was a good meet to have to kind of relax before we hit the grind of these big state qualifying invitationals the rest of the month of April.”

Blue Ridge and Globe also competed in the event, which is the only opportunity for PHS upperclassmen to perform in front of the home crowd. The only other meet Payson hosted this season was the Rotarian Freshman-Sophomore Meet.

“We have a pretty solid distance team and it showed against Blue Ridge,” Ball said. “Blue Ridge has a great distance running tradition so it was exciting that we were able sweep them, taking all the medals in the distance medley relay and going 1-2 in the 4x800.

“Much like our distance teams, our jumping field events were really good. Blue Ridge is really deep in the sprints right now. And it showed as they had the upper hand in most sprinting events.”

Payson won four races. Gerardo Moceri ran in three of them. In addition to running on the 4x800 with Kandace Baez, Abby Greenleaf and Jacob Dixon, he also ran the 1,600-leg of the distance medley and the 800-leg of the medley.

Greenleaf ran the 1,200-leg on the distance medley, while Chloe Obrecht ran the 800 and Trevor Anderson the 400. Also on the medley, Emily Lofano-Masse and Jesse Barry both ran 200 legs and Rachel Knauer ran the 400-leg.

Knauer and Baez also teamed up with Matt Davis and and Trevor Clawson to win the 4x400.

The top two boys and two girls from each school combined to form the field event relays.

Jesse Barry (6-0), Brian Skinner (5-10), Greenleaf (4-4) and Mckyla McCrary (4-0) won the high jump with a combined height of 20-2. Skinner (40-1) teamed with Braden Hancock (38-11), Sarah Borges (27-10) and Josie Long (26-6) to win the mixed triple jump in 133-4.

Kohl Shannon cleared 12 feet for the best individual pole vault and teamed with Evan Mitchell (8-0), Mckyla McCrary (6-6) and Karen Williams (6-0) to win the mixed pole vault with a combined 32 feet.

See next week’s Roundup for coverage of Payson’s performance in the April 5 Queen Creek Invitational.

PHS is scheduled to compete in the Blue Ridge Invitational today.

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