Minus a light wind, the weather could not have been more perfect at the Cortez Invitational Track Meet on April 9.
Taking advantage of the warm weather, several local athletes turned in solid performances while building confidence that should carry them through the rest of their season.
Panthers’ boys take first
Looking comfortable on their home track, the Montezuma-Cortez High School boys’ track team enjoyed a solid day, finishing first overall with 219 points.
Leading the way for the Panthers was standout junior Justice Ramos, who finished first in the 400-meter dash (52.30) and first in the 800-meter run (2:10.50).
“I just go out and run,” said Ramos. “I still want to improve on my training.”
Also recording a top finish on the track for the Panthers was junior Randy Haley, whose blazing speed was good enough to win the 100 (11.08).
Other top finishers for the boys included Isaac Padilla, who finished first in the discus (115 feet, 7 inches), and Keegan Ralstin, who finished first in the 300 hurdles (43.29).
The boys’ 4x400 relay, consisting of Justice Ramos, Josh Ramos, Haley and Padilla also turned in a solid performance, finishing first overall.
“I thought our kids did really well,” said boys’ head coach Bob Archibeque. “To me, it was one of those meets where we were much deeper than the other teams.”
Panthers’ girls take second
Falling just short of a team title on the girls’ side, the Panthers took second overall with 117 points, just behind Shiprock High School, which scored 136 points.
Leading the way for the girls’ team, junior Rachel Demby placed first in the 400 (1:01.31) and first in the 800 (2:38.20).
Other top finishers for the Panthers’ girls team included Amy Campbell, who finished second in the 100 (13.20) and Tayla Topaha, who finished second in the discus.
Also standing out on the girls’ side was Dani Owens, who placed fifth in the 400 (1:07.31).
“(Dani) is going to be a solid runner,” said girls’ head coach Paul Koops after the meet.”
Next up for the Panthers’ track teams will be the Aztec Top Gun, which takes place in Aztec, New Mexico on April 11.
Dove Creek teams perform well
Although the Dove Creek High School girls’ and boys’ track teams fell short in the team rankings, the Bulldogs enjoyed several solid performances.
Chief among those were first place finishes turned in by Corissa Guynes in the 100-meter hurdles (16.96) and 300-meter hurdles (49.95).
“I’m definitely getting my speed down to where it should be,” said Guynes. “I just need to work on my technique to be more confident over the hurdles.”
Also finishing first for the Bulldogs was Madison Young, who won the shot put in impressive fashion with a throw of 92 feet, 6 inches.
Next up for the Bulldogs’ track teams will be the Abel Velasquez Invitational, which takes place in Bayfield on April 12.