Retired First Sergeant JB Lopez is pleased with the turnout for Delta High School's cross country team. In all, there are 37 athletes ready to run for the Panthers.
Only nine of those 37 listed on Delta's roster lettered last year.
There are five seniors and three of them lettered in 2012. Dustin Ownbey leads the way for Delta's boys with four years under his belt and a 55th placing in last year's state meet. Ownbey will be a mentor for the younger athletes who are in the program and might need a bit of motivation in the days to come.
Julia and Leda Stinson also have four years of competition on the Lady Panthers' side of cross country at DHS. Both lettered a season ago.
Victoria Saunders is a three-year participant as a senior while newcomers Sindre Maehlum (boys) and Hailey Santonastaso (girls) complete the senior roster for Delta.
Juniors who lettered last season include Jason Husmann (two years in program), Nathanael Kathrein (3 years in program), Cody Kinderknecht (3 years in program), and Tyler Rolf (2 years in program).
The remainder of the junior roster members, and their years of participation, includes Evelyn Arias (2 years), Brandon Fuller (2 years), Edith Munoz (2 years), and Dakota Wheatley (3 years).
Sophomores on the roster, and their years of participation, are Abbi Beckwith (2 years - lettered), and Kaylee Dunham (2 years - lettered).
Other sophomores on the roster include Cruz Arias (new), Karina Bedoy (new), Alan Carrasco (new), Rodolfo Contreras (new), Jazmin Damazo (new), Josh Dillon (new) Deana Ellis (new), Autumn Jackson (2 years), Ashton Jones (new), Sara Jurca (2 years), David Kniskern (new), Wade Stinson (2 years), Anthony Streich (2 years), Cullen Wear (2 years) and Mykayla Music (2 years).
Freshman cross country runners for the Panthers are Elias Carlson, Jeff Chadwick, David Husmann, Sterile Quist, Kenna Signs and Mason Spiker.
Lopez will be in his eighth season as the head coach at DHS. He is aided by assistant coaches Beth French (8 years) and Mary Groome (3 years).
For the boys, Ownbey will be the top competitor as this year's season progresses. His trips to state will help him form a solid work ethic to ensure another post-season trip in 2013.
On the girls' side of the roster, look for Music and Dunham to perform well as they look to make plans for a trip to state.
Lopez notes the toughest courses his team will encounter are Battle Mountain, Paonia and Ridgway.
On the outlook for 2013, Lopez says, "Our team is pretty young ... not much chance of sending a boys' or girls' team to state. But Ownbey should make it again. I expect Music to make it, with Dunham having an outside chance to go as well. Elias Carlson, a freshman, might be a surprise."
Delta hosts the Delta Invitational this Friday at Confluence Park. Competitions are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.blog comments powered by Disqus