Phoenix, Ariz. – The Hopi High School girls cross country team ran an impressive race at state but finished second to a remarkable Payson squad.
Still, most Lady Bruin runners and fans were happy that they grabbed second place in their first year in 3A competition. Hopi also outscored the other three teams that qualified from the north. Keeping in mind that the team with the lowest score wins in cross-country, Payson won the championship with 53 points and Hopi took second with 65.
Ganado grabbed third with 77, Tuba City finished fourth with 90 and Window Rock placed fifth with 111 in the 14 team, 104-runner race. Payson's Whitney Hardt was the individual state champ. She is the niece of Hopi runner Kelsy Hardt who placed 16th. Hopi's Hardt said the race was disappointing because the Lady Bruins had worked hard to come this far.
"But we didn't go down without a fight. Next year, we will come back stronger and take the 3A state title," she said.
The other runners on the Hopi High state runner-up team were Iva Sahneyah, seventh; Alyssa Fredericks, 11th; Tara Secakuku, 12th; Kim Zahne, 19th; Mallory Shattuck, 23rd; and Tashana Masayesva, 28th. Hopi High Coach Harvey Honyouti said he felt the Lady Bruins, except for a slow start, ran a strong race. His only sadness was that he could not send Kim Zahne--the only senior on Hopi1s team--out with a state title.