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Area track teams tally strong results in Bayfield

Montezuma-Cortez’s Tay Wheat wins long jump, while Raul Soto wins 300-meter hurdles
Montezuma-Cortez’s Tay Wheat goes airborne in the long jump competition with senior teammate Austin Wood watching on at the Ron Keller Invitational in April 2023 at Durango High School. Wheat won the long jump event at the Pine River Invitational in Bayfield on Saturday, March 30, 2024. (Ben Bradley/The Journal file)

BAYFIELD – Montezuma-Cortez, Mancos, Dolores and Dove Creek all showcased their depth at the Pine River Invitational track and field meet in Bayfield, with both the Panther boys and girls compiling enough points to each take second place in the team competitions on Saturday.

The meet served as a solid midseason checkpoint for area teams with state qualifications starting to heat up.

Plenty of strong finishes in the jumps, hurdles, and relays propelled the Panthers’ boys and girls teams above 100 team points.

Junior Tay Wheat led the Panther boys by winning the long jump (21 feet, 3 ½ inches), while classmate Colby McMillian took second in the triple jump (38-6).

Senior Raul Soto led a parade of Panthers scoring in the 300-meter hurdles, taking the top spot in 44.04 seconds, while senior Levi Bromwell earned second in the 110 hurdles (17.66).

Sophomores Wyatt Oliver (fifth place in the 110 hurdles), Bradey Fresquez (fifth place in the 300 hurdles), and junior Atticus Keel (fourth place in the 300 hurdles) all placed within the top five in their respective events, while freshman Trey Hall took fifth in the high jump (5-8).

The Panthers also showcased their depth in the relays, where the 400- (45.79), 800- (1:34.68), and 3,200-meter (9:45.28) relay teams each took second place in the meet.

For the Montezuma-Cortez girls, a similar formula paid dividends. Sophomore Marlee Mack eased to victory in each of the 100 hurdles (17.77), 300-meter hurdles (50.29) and the long jump (16-2). Tatum Endres won the pole vault by clearing 7 feet, while freshman Tessa Jackson took second in the high jump (4-10).

The Panthers won the 800 meter sprint medley relay (2:02.20), and took second in both the 1,600 (4:39.55) and 400 (56.68) sprint medley relays.

Freshman Hayden Matthias earned fourth in the 300 hurdles (57.15), one place in front of classmate Josie Mack (57.25), while senior Savannah Haselroth took third in the 800 meters (2:51.74).

The Dolores girls earned seventh place as a team on the strength of their distance runners. Junior Elia Lowe (fourth, 2:55.13), Everlee Heaton (sixth), and Keira LaRose (seventh) all placed in the top 10 in the 800 meters.

Heaton and junior Maya Lowe both scored points in the 1,600 as well, placing sixth and seventh, respectively.

The Bears’ sprint medley relay team took fourth. Junior Coralea Wright (31.30) placed eighth in the 200 meters.

On the boys side, Bears sophomore Michael Rantz (second place. 52.89) and junior Tray Traweek (seventh place, 57.71) both placed in the top 10 in the 400 meters.

The Dolores 3,200 relay team took third (9:45.72) while the 400 relay team (46.93) placed fifth to round out the Bears scoring for their ninth-place team finish.

Mancos senior Cole Dainty-Guilfoyle earned one of two victories for the Jays, winning the shot put (41-2 ¼) and placing second in the discus (103-2).

Sophomore Jonah Ritter won the other gold medal, winning the 100 meters in 11.49 seconds. Ritter narrowly missed a double victory, settling for second in the 200 meters (23.54).

Junior Spencer Eschallier added to the Bluejay point total with a seventh-place triple jump result (35-11). Mancos took fifth overall in the team results.

Senior Chloe Endres posted one of the best finishes for the Mancos girls, taking fifth in the 800 (2:55.50), while junior Teagan Archer took eighth (3:06.13).

Senior Haylie Higgins tied for seventh in the high jump (4-4), and the Bluejays’ 1,600 relay team finished fourth (5:19.41) on their way to a ninth-place team effort.

As for Dove Creek, the boys team turned to their upperclassmen for points in their fifth-place finish, as senior Cody Alexander posted the highest Bulldog finish with a third-place run in the 300 hurdles (17.75).

Classmate Colten Fury took fourth in the long jump (19-5 ¼) and sixth in the 400 (57.38), while junior Sheldon Gardner matched the finishes with a fourth-place discus (101-9) and sixth place shot put (37-3 ¼).

The Bulldog girls’ best finish came in the sprint medley, with a seventh-place run of 2:15.64 by sophomores Ambrynn Huffaker and Grace Myers, freshman Mykaela Fury and junior Aspen Nye, helping Dove Creek place 10th overall in the team results.

Montezuma-Cortez will take part in the Abel Velasquez Invitational on April 6 in Ignacio. The Panthers will then host the Bob Archibeque Invitational on April 12.

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