POLACCA, Ariz. - Tuba City High School won the boys race and Page High won the girls race at the Hopi Invite cross country meet Sept. 2.
Host Hopi High School took third in the boys race and fourth in the girls race finishing behind larger schools. More than 400 runners from 22 schools participated in the races that included an open race for the junior varsity boys and girls teams.
In the boys varsity race, Tuba City delivered a one-two punch with Ryan Yazzie winning the race with a time of 17:09 and teammate Billy Orman grabbed second finishing 15 seconds later. The rest of the championship team included Dennis Klain, 16th; Reggie Poleahla, 35th; and Mitchell Bahnimptewa, 36th.
Yazzie, a junior, placed seventh in this race last year. But he ran at least four to six miles a day six days a week during the summer as he prepared for this race and the season.
"It's what we predicted and hoped," he said about his first place and his teammates second place finish.
Yazzie said his teammates helped him a lot.
"This was a very good race for us even though we have a lot of newcomers," he said.
Yazzie said the weather, in the low 80s, was just right and called the course perfect. But, he added, he was surprised that Snowflake's Cody Wells and Hopi's Ronnie Laban weren't closer to him at the finish.
Yazzie hopes to earn a cross country scholarship to UCLA where he would major in math. He maintains a B/C average. He also plays basketball and runs track.
Snowflake's Cody Wells took third place, Page's Eathan Fowler finished fourth and Hopi's Ronnie Laban grabbed fifth.
The rest of the top five runners for Hopi were: Justin Secakuku, 20th; Joshua Satala, 23rd; Brennon Sidney, 24th; and Clayden Torivio, 50th. Hopi High was missing two of its top seven runners; one was ill and another was injured.
Tuba City won the race with 90 points, Page grabbed second with 120, Hopi High took third with 122 and Window Rock placed fourth with 126 points.
The rest of the field showed Many Farms, fifth, 133; Chinle, sixth, 150; Coconino, seventh, 162; Ganado, eighth, 176; Alchesay, ninth, 222; Winslow, tenth, 253; Snowflake, 11th, 332; Holbrook, 12th, 342; Valley Sanders, 13th, 382; Show Low, 14th, 386; and Greyhills, 15th, 418.
The top 15 runners were given medals. The remaining top 15 included Matthew Williams, Window Rock, sixth; Matthew Grant, Alchesay, seventh; Terrance Haskan and Aaron Biah, both Coconino, eighth and ninth; Arno Bia, Many Farms, tenth; Andre Smaple, Ganado, 11th; Ronald Hicks, Page, 12th; Monte Yazzie, Window Rock, 13th; Garroit James, Window Rock, 14th; and Darrick Joey, Chinle, 15th.
Page High School won the girls race by packing five runners into the top 27, Tuba City grabbed second, Chinle took third and Hopi finished fourth.
The Lady Sand Devils won with 66 points, Tuba City second with 98, Chinle third with 112 and Hopi fourth with 127.
The rest of the field showed Winslow, fifth, 181; Alchesay, sixth, 185; Coconino, seventh, 194; Valley Sanders, eighth, 210; Payson, ninth, 238; Holbrook, tenth, 277; Pinon, 11th, 280; Window Rock, 12th, 282; Monument Valley, 13th, 291; San Carlos, 14th, 359; Show Low, 15th, 394; and Many Farms, 16th, 404.
Chinle's Rolonda Jumbo was the individual winner in 21:14 with Latrisha Blackstar from Page claiming second 13 seconds later. The rest of the championship Page team included Kristen Haskie and Bronte Carley, 10th and 11th; Ashlee James, 16th; and Chelsea Curley, 27th.
The top five runners for host Hopi were Brittany Little, fourth; Joelle Mansfield, 12th; Tracey Billy, 20th; Faith Gonnie, 37th; and Uintah Polacca, 54th.
Jumbo, a freshman, said she was surprised at her individual championship because she stayed close to most of her teammates for most of the race.
"We ran as a team," she said.
Jumbo won several races as a junior high student last year, but winning her first race as a high school student was a big deal for the shy student.
Jumbo said she wasn't even aware of how close the runners behind her were. She said the weather was good and she liked the course. She will also run track.
Jumbo, an A/B student, hopes to get a cross country scholarship to Kansas State, but she doesn't know what she wants to major in.
The rest of the runners medaling by finishing in the top 15 were: Shauna Isbell, Coconino, third; Gertrude Tsinnie, Valley Sanders, fifth; Marie Lupe, Alchesay, sixth; April Belone, Winslow, seventh; Tatiyanah Johnson, Tuba City, eighth; ReAnna Chee, Holbrook, ninth; Olivia Flores and Caitlin Williams, Tuba City, 13th and 14th; and Lucy Schouten Payson, 15th.
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