Girls track enters season with high hopes

Junior Rachel Demby figures to lead young team season

Jordan Miller strides over a hurdle at the Montezuma-Cortez High School track practice. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Jordan Miller strides over a hurdle at the Montezuma-Cortez High School track practice.

Entering the 2014 track season, the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls’ track team is hoping to combine youth and experience to form a winning combination.

Leading the way for this year’s girls’ team will be star junior Rachel Demby, who, after training throughout the winter, appears primed for a big year.

In addition to competing the 400-meter run and the 800-meter run, Demby will see time in the 1600 and 3200-meter events as well.

“Rachel ran with passion and commitment all winter,” said M-CHS head track coach Paul Koops. “She is our top girl coming back in terms of points, experience and potential.”

Also figuring to play a major role for the Panthers will be sophomore thrower Tayla Topaha, who competes in the discus and shot put events.

Complementing Topaha in the throwing events will be sophomore Chantell Manual, who, fresh off a solid basketball season, will look to make an impact.

Distance runners Kayla Hageman, Julia DaMore and Elana Cope also bring promise to this season’s Panthers’ team, which, if all goes according to planned, could enjoy a solid season.

“I would love to see us show the Southwest League teams up in Grand Junction that we have some solid athletes and we can compete,” said Koops. “I’m hoping some of these young kids can rise to that.”

After opening their season last weekend in Moab at the Red Rocks Invitational, the Panthers will look to build on early season success at the Montrose Avid Invite on March 15.