Mt. San Antonio College, WALNUT, CA - Matt Lamson was proud that Hopi High School proved they could run with the best in the country when the Hopi High boys won the sweepstakes race at the 59th annual Mt. San Antonio College Invitational.
This is a national meet held each year with many of the best teams from throughout the country competing. The "sweepstakes" meet is considered the most prestigious race for the top runners in the country.
Runners Magazine bills the invitational as the "largest cross country meet on the globe."
Hopi won the ten team boys varsity race with 40 points, McFarland took second with 67, St. Mary's finished third with 77 and Oaks Christian placed fourth with 101 points.
Lamson topped the field for Hopi High as he finished in fourth with a time of 16:06 and teammate Chad Baker was right behind him in fifth place.
Hopi's Kevin Rivers placed 12th, Vonn Secakuku took 14th and Andrew Honyaktewa placed 15th. Ron Kallestewa placed 23rd and Rydell Namoki finished 28th in the 59 runner race.
Lamson said he felt excited about Hopi High winning the sweepstakes race.
"All of our runners ran close together. We ran a good, fast race," he said. "Winning this race tells us that we're competitive with the best teams in other states."
Lamson said Hopi High now expects to win state this year.
"We expect to win state because we have a good team and we know how to pack together," he said. "Our running times are also improving."
Lamson finished fifth at state last year and hopes to place in the top three this year.
Lamson, a senior, expects to get a cross-country scholarship to attend either Cornell University or Texas A & M where he plans to major in computer engineering.
The Hopi girls placed third out of 23 teams in the varsity small school race.
Honanie said the Lady Bruins ran well. "It shows that we can do better and we're ready for state," she said.
Honanie was Hopi's top runner with a ninth place finish.
"This was our best race of the year. We started slow this year, but now we're doing better," she said. "I ran well at this meet. I was relaxed and I ran to my potential."
Honanie said the Lady Bruins expect to be number one at state because now they know they can excel if they stick together as a team.
Honanie, a junior, hopes to get a cross-country scholarship to Ft. Lewis College where she plans to major in physical therapy.
"We had a great season this year and we wish the best for the seniors," she said.
Half Moon Bay won the race with 101 points, Parclete grabbed second with 123, Hopi took third with 146 points, Bret Harte finished fourth with 156 and St. Margaret's placed fifth with 167.
Hanna Henson from Rio Rico won the race with a time of 19:23.
The other runners for the Lady Bruins were Snow Josytewa, 24th; Daylene Billy, 39th; Povi Lomayaoma, 43rd; Courtney Outie, 50th; Kelli Smiley, 51st; and Erica Namoki, 77th. There were 167 runners in the race.
Hopi took first in the junior varsity race, third in the sophomore race and first in the freshman race. Hopi won the junior varsity race with 44 points,
Marantha was second with 58 and Louisville was third with 140 points. More than 50 runners competed in this race.
Monica Honyumptewa was Hopi's top runner with a third place finish, teammates Danille Tom and Kiara Pahovama were right behind her in fourth and fifth place. Tisha
Lilly placed 14th and Tiffany Kisto finished 30th in this 191 runner race.
Hopi won the freshman race with 28 points, Serra took second with 47 and Anza Hamilton took third with 48 points. There were 24 teams in this race.
Katie O'Connor from Bret Harte won the race. Hopi's Desire Torivio placed fourth with teammates Terisa Josytewa and Kayla Koruh finishing fifth and sixth. Joelle Mansfield finished 11th and Ch. Masawytewa took 23rd in this 70 runner race.