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Delta XC team numbers 26

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Photo by Wayne Crick Delta cross-country coach JB Lopez explains instructions to begin a practice session last week. The Panthers are heavily loaded with male runners in 2015. There are 19 boys and only seven girls on this year's roster.

Delta High School's cross-country roster lists 26 athletes. Seven of those listed are female. The senior and freshman classes boast eight runners each. The freshman class has six athletes and this year's junior class has four on the roster.

Head coach JB Lopez notes there is not much experience and a lot of youth on the girls' team this season. For the boys, "There is a chance they (boys) will make it to state," says Lopez.

Top returners for the Panthers include seniors Mykayla Music, Wade Stinson and Abbi Beckwith. Junior Elias Carlson is a fourth top runner for the Panthers.

Music will lead the girls' team in 2015. She has determination and a strong work ethic with a desire to succeed. Stinson is a double-duty athlete in the fall with practices in both cross-country and soccer to keep him more than busy and fit.

In looking at the years of competition around the western slope, Lopez claims the toughest cross country site is the Battle Mountain course.

Providing various forms of assistance for Lopez this season are Beth French, Anna Cummins and Matt Kevan.

Delta's first meet of the season is Saturday, Aug. 29, at Grand Junction Central's Matchett Park. Competition begins at 9 a.m.

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