Matthew Honanie, a senior, said he was happy that the Bruins won the state championship because it continues the tradition of running and shows Hopi High is still going strong.
Honanie said he could have run a better race and finished at least third rather than fourth.
“I should have double-tied my shoes because it came untied,” he said. “I also kicked it in just a little too late. I just couldn’t catch the runner from Rio Rico.”
Honanie, who maintains a B/C average, hopes for a cross country scholarship to college. He hasn’t decided where he wants to attend college, but he plans to major in either engineering or architecture. He plans to play basketball or run track this year.
He is the son of Norman and Carol Honanie of Kykotsmovi.
Harry “Chills” Kisto III, a junior, said winning the state championship meant a lot to him.
“It keeps our tradition strong. I want to thank my teammates for sticking with us through the ups and downs and for holding together like one big family,” he said. “It shows that if you believe in yourself that anything can happen.”
Kisto, like the two Hopi runners ahead of him, felt he could have done better by kicking in his last surge a bit earlier then he did. He passed several runners down the stretch, but felt he should have passed more.
Kisto, who maintains a B/C average, plans on studying computers or entering the military after he graduates.
Kisto is active in Gifted and Talented. He plans to play basketball and run track this year.
He is the son of Bertina and Harris Koiyaquaptewa. He is from Mishongnovi, but now resides in Kykotsmovi.
Aaron Johnson, who placed seventh, said winning the state championship showed him that the Bruins trained hard enough to be the best in 3A.
“I want to thank everybody for cheering, motivating and supporting us,” he said.
Johnson, a junior, added that he ran to his potential.
“I stayed strong the entire race,” he said. “I believe in myself and that’s how I ran the race. No matter the outcome, somebody is always there for you.”
Johnson, who maintains a B-average, hopes to get a cross country scholarship to college. He plans on wrestling and running track this year. He hopes to become an author.
He is the son of Michael and Carol Johnson of Keams Canyon.
Travis Sahneyah, a junior, said winning the state championship was “a big accomplishment for us, the school and everybody else.”
Sahneyah said he could have done better by preparing better mentally.
“I’m going to work on that next year,” he said.
Sahneyah, an A/B Honor Roll student, hopes for a cross country scholarship to college. He plans to major in business management. He plans to run track this year.
He is the son of Bonnie Secakuku and Herman Sahneyah from Second Mesa.
Vonn Secakuku, a freshman, grabbed 16th place.
Secakuku said he was happy and proud that the Bruins won the state championship.
“It felt good. It was pretty exciting,” he said. “I was happy to compete at state.”
Secakuku, who felt like he ran to his potential, passed a Monument Valley runner toward the finish.
Secakuku, who maintains an A/B average, hopes for a cross country scholarship to college. He plans to play basketball and run track.
He is the son of Patrick and Fern Secakuku of Polacca.
Jaynas Saufkie, another freshman, finished 36th in the 107 runner race.
Saufkie said it meant a lot to win the state championship as a freshman.
“It was my first time on a state championship team,” he said. “I wasn’t satisfied with the way I ran. I should have done better. Next year, I’ll be better prepared.”
Saufkie said he passed some runners down the stretch.
Saufkie, who made the Honor Roll, hopes to earn a cross country scholarship to college. He plans to play baseball and basketball this year.
He is the son of Maechel and Albert Saufkie of Shungopavi.
The other area runners finishing in the top 28 were: Christopher Holve, Tuba City, 12th; Eric Kanuho, Ganado, 13th; Harold Smiley, Tuba City, 15th; Ryan Salt, Monument Valley, 17th; Rick Worker, Tuba City, 19th; Melwyn Pahe, Holbrook, 22nd; DeWayne Billings, Greyhills, 24th; Ryan Guy, Window Rock, 26th; Vito Tsosie, Window Rock, 27th; and Nicholas Morgan, Window Rock, 28th.
(Stan Bindell is journalism and radio teacher at Hopi High School.)