Mountains

M-CHS runs strong in Utah

Photo courtesy of Paul Koops

The Montezuma-Cortez high school girls cross-country team poses Wednesday in Blanding, Utah, after taking second at the John Thornton Invitational. From left, Kelly Abrams, Abby Lock, Rachel Demby, Elana Cope and Julia Damore.

Journal Staff Report

Montezuma-Cortez High School cross-country flexed its muscles in Blanding, Utah, on Wednesday.

San Juan High School hosted the John Thornton Invitational. But M-CHS dominated.

Sophomore Rachel Demby ran to her second victory of the season in the girls varsity race with a time of 20 minutes, 23 seconds.

“Demby’s strong performance confirms her status among the best of local high school runners,” M-CHS coach Paul Koops said. “Demby is a tough, competitive runner, who has quietly emerged as a team leader and runner to be taken seriously by competitors.”

Senior Dillon Wells grabbed the first victory of his varsity career in the boys race with a 17:23 effort.

“As his high school career winds down, Wells’ performance offers excellent promise for a possible state qualifying spot at the Regional Meet in two weeks, and was especially encouraging after he battled the flu most of last week,” Koops said.

The Lady Panthers varsity showed excellent depth with a second-place team finish in the meet. The squad is Abby Lock (13th in 22:56), Elana Cope (17th, 23:56), Julia Damore (19th, 24:04) and Kelly Abrams (20th, 24:10).

Panthers’ sophomore Taylor Wilson continued his late season improvement, finishing 25th in 20:29. Junior Brackin Whiteskunk ran a season-best 22:42 (38th) in the boys race.

In the girls junior varsity race, Amanda Haukeness led the Lady Panthers with a time of 28:48 with Sage Kramer one second behind. Selena LaPaz finished at 31:40.

M-CHS hosts its annual Ancient Trails Invitational on Saturday at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds. Nearly 400 runners are entered in the high school and middle school races, which begin at 9 a.m.

“This event is a popular regional event with teams representing schools from all four states of the Four Corners,” Koops said. “The public is encouraged to come out and enjoy another spectacular day of distance running.”

Mancos and Dolores will also compete at the meet.

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