Hopi remains the team to beat in the 3A North.
“But you take away the 4A and 5A teams, and it becomes scary when the field of teams is smaller,” he said.
“We have to work hard to stay ahead of teams in our conference.”
Coach Baker praised Stet Lomayestewa and Travis Sahneyah for running strong races for Hopi.
“But everybody else has to step up. No excuses because excuses don’t win. We just have to be ready at race time,” he said.
Page’s Leif Lomeland was the individual winner.
Teammates Nathan Lee, Levi Lomeland and Josh Bryant placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. The other runners for Page were Mack Zahne, 11th; Derrick Williams, 12th; and Antonio Smith, 15th, in the 65 runner race.
Hopi’s Stet Lomayestewa grabbed second place. The other Bruin runners were: Travis Sahneyah, eighth; Harry Kisto, tenth; Matt Honanie, 13th; Doug Begaye, 19th; Jaynas Saufkie, 32nd; and Lindsey Wise, 43rd.
Kevin Bahe from Chinle finished in third place. The other runners in the top 15 were: Eric Bahe, Chinle, seventh; Harold Smiley, Tuba City, ninth; Tyrin Bert, 14th, Chinle.
Hopi had an impressive 1-2-3 punch in the girls race.
Hopi High School girls cross country runner Kelsy Hardt was more impressed with the team and freshman runner Samantha Lucas.
Hardt was the individual winner and Hopi High won the girls race with the top three runners. Freshman Samantha Lucas placed 11th.
The Tuba City girls placed second at the Hopi Invite.
“It felt good to win (the individual race), but I was hoping Flagstaff would be here because they always challenge us. They really push us,” Hardt said.
The Hopi Invite was scheduled for Sept. 2, but postponed due to thunder and lightning. Several schools, including Flagstaff, couldn’t make the return date because of other commitments.
Hardt said the Lady Bruins ran well with a one-two-three punch. Teammates Tracy Honani and Iva Sahneyah grabbed second and third place, respectively.
“We really packed them in,” Hardt said, “ and freshman Samantha Lucas ran varsity for the first time. Samantha finished 11th, and that’s really impressive for a freshman. It shows that we have a promising future.”
Hardt, a senior, said that Hopi can improve by working on keeping themselves hydrated and continuing to pack together. She attributes a positive team attitude to Coach Harvey Honyouti and assistant coaches Wendi Lewis and Lavonne Honyouti.
Last year, Hardt finished third at state behind her nieces Whitney Hardt and Kari Hardt. Her nieces run for Round Valley High School. “I hope to challenge them this year,” Kelsy said. Hopi’s Hardt said the Lady Bruins hope to repeat as state champions.
“We have a lot of good freshmen, we’re disciplined and we have a lot of heart,” she said.
The other Hopi High runners who combined for the Hopi Invite championship were: Marissa Leslie, 25th; Henrietta Mann, 28th; and Marlena Selina, 31st, in the 60-runner race.
Hopi won the race with 42 points. Tuba City grabbed second with 65 points. Ganado placed third with 71 points.
The other teams were: Page, fourth, 104; Chinle, fifth, 104; Alchesay, sixth, 114; Pinon, seventh, 207; and Holbrook, eighth, 245.
Many Farms, Cibecue and Greyhills had individual runners in the race, but not enough runners for a team score.
After the Hopi one-two-three punch, the top 15 runners were; Brandi Atene, fourth, Tuba City; Leandra Thomas, fifth, Ganado; Katrina Lee, sixth, Page; Fayrine Holden, seventh, Alchesay; Brianna Yazzie, eighth, Tuba City; Rhea Casey, ninth, Alchesay; Maralyn Curley, tenth, Ganado; Samantha Lucas, 11th, Hopi; Jessica Tsingine, 12th, Tuba City; Shannon Yellowhair, 13th, Chinle; Danalyn Cook, 14th, Chinle; and Brithie Mabey, 15th, Page.