Delta junior John Ames is becoming a more recognized name in prep cross country on western slope courses. The determined runner has steadily improved his times and has aspirations of making the list of athletes who will travel to state competition this season.
Ames has been the top runner for Delta High School's boys cross country team so far this season. Although he has not won a meet this season, he certainly has the potential to do so.
In Gunnison, Sept. 16, Ames placed third in a field of 87 runners with a time of 17:25. Jaden Evans of Telluride won that meet with his time of 16:56 and Gunnison's Colton Stice placed second (17:22).
Other top runners in Gunnison were Shad Lewis (23rd), Thomas Neil (37th), Issac Vader (42nd) and Doyle Young (64th).
Delta was fifth in a field of eight teams at Gunnison.
Last week's competition in Fruita (Anna Banana) featured 93 varsity runners with Ames finishing the race in 17:03.30 and an eighth place finish. The next Delta runner was Lewis (18th) with a time of 18:02.20. Delta's third runner was Neil (57th) followed by Vader (63rd) and Young (76th).
The Panther boys finished ninth in the team race (12 teams).
On the girls' side, a top finisher has varied throughout the season so far. In Gunnison freshman Aubree Andre finished 14th with a time of 22:40 and finished just ahead of junior teammate Beki Atchley (15th) with a time of 22:47. The remaining top five timed runners were Grace Hall (23rd), Abby Williams (30th) and Hana Hollenbeck (33rd).
Delta's girls were third overall behind Salida and Gunnison.
In Fruita, Andre ran a 21:45.70 to place 18th for the Panthers. Atchley wasn't too far behind with a time of 22:16.20 and a 21st place finish. Hollenbeck was Delta's third runner to finish (60th) followed by Emma Corbasson (62nd) and Lucy Streich (67th).
Delta finished eighth in a field of 10 teams for the event.
The Panthers host their annual Sweitzer Lake run this Friday, Sept. 29 with races beginning at 10 a.m.