BAYFIELD – In just a few weeks, the Montezuma-Cortez cross-country teams will kick off the championship portion of their schedule with the Intermountain League championships at Centauri.
If Saturday’s Wolverine Invitational is any indicator, the Panthers will be right in the mix among the top teams in early October.
Between the boys and girls teams, M-CHS placed three competitors in the top 10 of their respective races in a preview of the IML championships at Bayfield’s Wolverine Invitational.
In the boys race, Montezuma-Cortez showcased some of the future of the program, as a pair of freshmen led the way for second-year head coach Ro Paschal. Class of 2027 runner Cruz Plewe paced the way for the orange-and-black, taking fifth in a time of 20:32.
Classmate William Blair finished less than a minute behind, earning eighth while crossing the line in 21:22. The Panthers filed in with junior Corbin Myers (15th, 23:26) and sophomore Roberto Sauzameda (17th, 24:49).
Sophomores Kenai Cotonuts (21st, 26:25) and John Haselroth (23rd, 31:37) rounded out the competitors for the Panthers, as M-CHS took home third place as a team. M-CHS scored 64 points, behind team champions Pagosa Springs (27) and runner-up Bayfield (39). Pagosa Springs senior Miles Baker won the race in a time of 19:22.
On the girls side, M-CHS senior Savannah Haselroth took home honors as the top Panther, taking fifth place in the meet with a time of 25:39.
Classmate Heather Martinez crossed in 11th place in a time of 31:11, while junior Luna Moore came in one place and three seconds behind.
Sophomore Esperanza Vargas added a 14th place effort for the Panthers, finishing in 32:02 to cap the M-CHS performance. While the Panthers needed a fifth runner to post a complete team score, the Panthers battled neck-and-neck with Bayfield’s top four runners.
Pagosa Springs took home the team title, led by individual champion Sienna Rose, who won in a time of 23:37. M-CHS will get another crack at the Pirates this upcoming weekend, when they travel to Pagosa Springs for a meet on Saturday, Sept. 23. The IML championships await a couple weeks later, hosted by Centauri High School on Saturday, Oct. 7.