Several Panthers qualify for state Ralstin, Ramos, Demby and Topaha pace M-CHS teams

Qualifying for the Colorado State Track Championships is never easy, especially at the Class 4A level.

Thanks to some outstanding performances at the Southwest League Championships however, several Montezuma-Cortez High School athletes will run in the state meet.

Boys finish fourth in league

One of six league Southwest League teams competing in Grand Junction, May 9-10, the Panthers’ boys team performed well, finishing fourth overall.

Leading the way for the Panthers, senior Keegan Ralstin finished first in the triple jump (42 feet, 9½ inches) and second in the 300-meter hurdles (41.04). Ralstin’s time in the 300 hurdles was good enough to qualify him for state.

Also running well for the Panthers, junior Justice Ramos finished second in the 400 (51.46).

Other top individual performers for the Panthers included Randy Haley, who finished third in the triple jump (41 feet, 3 inches) and fourth in the 100 (11.58), Briston Walker, who finished fourth in the discus (128 feet, 1 inch) and Seth Long, who finished fourth in the high jump (5 feet, 4 inches).

Rounding out the top-10 finishers for the boys’ team, Skylar Yarbrough finished 8th in the 110-meter hurdles (19.43).

In the 4x400 relay, Justice Ramos, Josh Ramos, Haley and Ralstin combined to run a time of 3:27.56, which was good enough to qualify for the state meet.

Also turning in a solid performance was the Panthers’ girls’ team, which finished fifth overall in the Southwest League meet.

Leading the way for the Panthers was sophomore Tayla Topaha, who finished first overall in the discus (109 feet, 7 inches) and fourth overall in the shot put (29 feet, 4 inches). Topaha qualified for state in the discus event.

“(Tayla) has been solid all year,” said head girls’ coach Paul Koops. “She has been a leader out there in the throws. She has done really well given that we did not have a full-time throws coach this year.”

Also performing well for the Panthers, Rachel Demby finished second in the 400 (1:00.09) and fifth in the 200 (27.26). Demby will compete in the 400 at state.

“(Rachel) never finished out of the money all year,” said Koops. “She’s just a solid, committed, hard working athlete who has taken her skills a new level.”

Other top finishers for the Panthers included Weslie Kirks, who finished fifth in the 100 hurdles (18.80) and fifth in the triple jump (30 feet, 8 inches) and Amy Campbell, who finished sixth in the 100 (13.22) and seventh in the 200 (27.76).

“Overall, it was a great meet,” said Koops. “Almost every athlete set a personal best. We’ve improved a great deal over the course of the year.”

The Panthers’ state qualifiers will travel to Lakewood later this week to compete in the State Championships, which will take place, May 15-17, in Lakewood.