Panthers cross country team runs well in Utah
Demby continues strong season with dominating first-place finish
In a sport where speed and endurance make the difference, no runner competing in the Lloyd’s Lake Cross Country Invitational was faster or better conditioned than Montezuma-Cortez High School cross country star Rachel Demby.
Running under sunny skies in Monticello on Sept. 6, Demby thoroughly outclassed a talented field, finishing the 5-kilometer course in a personal best time of 20:34.
“(Demby) dominated the girls’ race,” wrote MCHS head coach Paul Koops. “(She) took control of the race about half a mile in and dictated the pace thereafter.”
Also running impressively for the Panthers girls’ team were senior Abby Lock and junior Elana Cope. Running with grit and determination, Lock finished 5th overall in a time of 23:11, while Cope finished seventh in a time of 23:55.
Following Cope for the Panthers were Samantha Bagge, whose time of 26:36 was good enough for 26th place, Julia Damore, who finished in a time of 27:22 and Rachel Zettz, whose time of 29:51 placed her 37th.
Rounding out the girls’ varsity finishers for the Panthers was Madison VanBibber, who, after recently recovering from an Achilles’ tendon strain, ran well and finished in 31:30.
As a team, the Panthers’ girls finished second behind meet host Monticello, leaving Koops happy with his team’s effort.
“I couldn’t have been more pleased with the efforts and performance of all the Panther harriers,” wrote Koops. “Our hard training days and those days of long summer miles are starting to pay off.”
On the boys’ side, Chandler Dee led the Panthers with a time of 18:51, which was good enough for a 10th place finish overall.
“(Dee) continues to post improved times over a year ago and is benefiting from some tough workouts in practice,” wrote Koops.
Also running well on the boys’ side were Jonathan Bloedel, whose time of 20:34 placed him 23rd overall; Taylor Wilson, whose time of 20:46 was good enough for a 24th place finish; and Bracken Whiteskunk, whose time of 21:17 placed him 28th.
After another week of training, the Panthers will head to Bayfield on Sept. 14 for the Southwest Cross Country Challenge.
“(The Southwest Challenge) promises a tougher level of competition,” wrote Koops. “Teams from all over the Four Corners Region (will be there).”