Panthers track teams open season well

Rockwell, Perez and Topaha record top finishes at Red Rocks Invitational

For the Montezuma-Cortez High School boys and girls track teams, the season could not have opened on a more positive note.

Running under warm sun in Moab, Utah, at the Red Rocks Invitational on March 8, several Panthers’ runners turned in solid performances to kick off the year.

Panthers boys place well

Highlighting the meet for the boys team was the performance of throwers Leander Rockwell and Victor Perez, who each registered top finishes.

Perez’s throw of 41 feet, one and 1/2 inches was good enough for first overall in the shot put while Rockwell’s toss of 126 feet was good enough to win the discus.

Isaac Padilla also performed well, finishing third overall in the discus with a throw of 112 feet, three inches.

“Our throwers had a good day,” said M-CHS boys’ head coach Bob Archibeque. “Those kids are big bodies. If they’re willing to work hard, they’ll do real well.”

Leading the way for the Panthers in the running events was Justice Ramos, who finished second overall in the 800-meter run (2:09), second overall in the 400 (53.60) and fifth overall in the 3,200 (12:38).

Other top finishers for the Panthers included Elijah Vicara, who finished second in the long jump (18 feet, three inches) and Keegan Ralstin, who finished third in the high jump (Five feet, six inches) and fourth in the 300 hurdles (48.12).

“For the first meet, for the amount of time that we had to prep, we did real well,” said Archibeque.

Panthers girls give solid performance

Leading the way for the M-CHS girls team was powerful thrower Tayla Topaha, who finished first in the discus (98 feet, 2 inches) and third in the shot put (28 feet, 7 inches).

Also performing well in the throwing events was Chantelle Manuel, who finished sixth overall in the shot put (26 feet, 4 inches).

Leading the way for the Panthers’ runners, Kayla Hageman finished sixth in the 3200 (13:53) and 10th in the 1600 (6:53).

Julia Damore finished seventh in the 800 (3:06) and 12th in the 3200 (14:52) and 1600 (6:58).

Turning in the Panthers’ top sprinting performance was Amy Campbell, who finished ninth in the 200 (29.98) and 11th in the 100 (14.41).

Next up for the Panthers’ track teams will be the Montrose Avid Invite, which will take place in Montrose on March 15.