Wind and rain made for miserable track and field conditions at Panther Stadium last Thursday.
Host Montezuma-Cortez High School was anything but cold, though.
Red hot M-CHS took advantage of its home track, and swept the boys and girls championships to win the 11-school Cortez Invitational. The Panthers won with 120.83 points, while the ladies tallied 154.50 points. Dolores was in second on the girls side with 121 points. Dove Creek and Mancos were fifth and 11th with 52 and eight points, respectively.
Mancos, Dolores and Dove Creek placed eighth (44), 10th (21) and 11th (seven) on the boys side.
It was all smiles for Montezuma-Cortez.
"In cold weather sometimes, kids are afraid to get hurt. But when the weather heated up a little, you could see the kids run faster," M-CHS coach Bob Archibeque said.
Amanda Gallegos, Rachel Demby and Miranda Elliott paced the Lady Panthers with individual wins. Gallegos won the 400-meter dash in 1 minute, 6 seconds, edging Navajo Prep's (Farmington, N.M.) Muriel Waukazoo (1:06.7).
"I was pretty far behind, but I caught that girl," Gallegos said. "Just hearing people cheer me on, my senior year, (it makes me) want to be the best. The 400 is my baby. I was really proud of myself to win it."
Demby raced to a time of 2:29.35 in the 800, as she and Gallegos were also part of the winning 4x400-meter relay (4:22.04) team with Katelyn Muzzy and Jordan Miller.
Elliott won the discus throw with a disappointing distance of 100-feet, 11-inches. Although Elliott won, she didn't feel like she threw her best in the cold weather conditions.
"With Randy, she's looking at the big picture down the road. She wants to be in the top seven or eight kids at state," Archibeque said about Elliott. "She knows she's got to throw better to get there. She wants to be on the (state) podium."
The Panthers also won the 4x400 to make it a clean sweep for M-CHS in the event. Jaron Carver, Wiley Kirks, Justice Ramos and Briston Walker raced to a time of 3:47.53.
Chandler Dee and Dillon Wells placed second (12:10.9) and third (12:21.29) in the 3,200 to Mancos' Justin Burton, who won at 11:29.22.
"We've got some great distance kids," first-year Mancos coach Adam Priestly said. "They come out here and run the 800, 3,200, and do everything we ask. They're always a shining point every weekend."
Cassie Lard won the girls 100 and 200 races for Dolores in times of 13.44 and 28.72. Cydney McHenry won the 300-meter hurdles with an upset. She beat Dove Creek's Corissa Guynes, who's ranked No. 1 in 1A. McHenry clocked in at a time of 49.91, while Guynes was second at 50.82.
"Cydney did good. She's still kind of new to it," Dolores coach Nick Kohler said. "She's on par, on pace to be about where we need her to be."
Guynes also took second (16.97) in the 100-hurdles to Grand County's (Moab, Utah) Carly Dalton (16.10).
Pine River Invitational
On Saturday, Guynes got back to her winning ways in more bad weather at Bayfield in the Pine River Invitational.
Guynes got revenge against McHenry in the 300-hurdles, winning 49.18 to 50.17, to retain her No. 1 ranking. Guynes stayed No. 1 in the 100-hurdles, too, with a win at 16.70.
However, Dolores won the girls team title in Bayfield with 134 points.
The Lady Bears were led by Lexi Atkinson and Michelle Kline. Both seniors won the 100 and 800 in 13.64 and 2:35.71.
M-CHS, Dove Creek and Mancos placed fourth (96), sixth (71) and 11th (nine).
Justice Ramos won the boys 400 for M-CHS at a time of 54.66. The Panthers placed fourth as a team with 75 points. Durango won the boys team championship with 152 points.
Mancos, Dolores and Dove Creek were seventh (45), eighth (25) and 11th (12).
M-CHS, Dolores and Dove Creek will compete Friday in Durango at the Ron Keller Invitational at 1:30 p.m. Mancos heads south to Aztec, N.M., to participate in the two-day B & B Track Invitational on Friday and Saturday at 11 and 9 a.m.