Athlete of the week Tayla Topaha

When it comes to balancing multiple commitments, few Montezuma-Cortez High School students are more adept than sophomore Tayla Topaha.

A three-sport varsity athlete, Topaha excels in softball, basketball and track, much to the benefit of the three Panthers’ teams she holds so dear.

A solid softball player

A lifelong softball player with a knack for delivering clutch hits, Topaha was rock solid for the Panthers’ softball team during the 2013-14 season.

Spending the vast majority of season playing shortstop or second base, Topaha was solid defensively and impressive at the plate.

Finishing the season with a .417 batting average, Topaha led the Panthers in hits (20), triples (2) and home runs (2). The sophomore also tied for the team lead in RBIs with 10.

Discussing what it will take to turn around the M-CHS softball program, Topaha indicated that hard work would be key.

“In the summer, we’re going to be practicing hard,” said Topaha.

A varsity basketball athlete

When not leading the Panthers on the field, Topaha suits up as a guard for the basketball team.

Still in the process of developing a consistent shooting touch, Topaha made solid contributions for the Panthers in 2013-14, sparking the team with her energy.

While the Panthers only won one game on the season, Topaha expressed satisfaction with her team’s development.

“We did a lot better,” Topaha said. “We still need to get used to playing with each other though.”

A track star

Currently in the midst of the spring track season, Topaha has been spectacular.

In the shot put and discus events, Topaha has notched several first-place finishes, in addition to meeting personal goals.

“I really want it and I want to put some effort into (track),” said Topaha. “I met my goal (March 22), which was to throw over 100 feet in the discus.”

When not participating in athletics, Topaha enjoys drawing and hanging out with friends.