Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sun, May 31

Hopi High boys, girls teams win 2A North Regional cross country meet

POLACCA, Ariz. - Hopi High girls and boys cross country coaches were encouraged after their teams won the 2A North Regionals held at Hopi High on Nov. 1. The Hopi girls won with 31 points, Northland Prep took second with 39, Valley Sanders finished third with 67 and Pinon took fourth with 93.

Andrea Klimowski from Northland Prep was the regional girls champ with a time of 20:20.

Hopi's Brittany Little took second place. The rest of the regional Hopi High championship team was Terissa Josytewa, fifth; Cassandra Nash, eighth; Jasmine Humetewa, ninth; Kayla Koruh, 10th; Joelle Mansfield, 12th; and Tracy Billy, 15th.

The other runners finishing in the top 15 were Corrie Bain and Megan Dwyer, Northland Prep, third and fourth; Chenoa Gaddy, Valley, seventh; Sasheena Speen, Valley, 11th; Jessica McMillan, Northland Prep, 13th; and Resheena Chee, Pinon, 14th.

Laverne Lomakema, coach of the Hopi High girls cross country team, said the Lady Bruins ran well.

"The girls were motivated and focused, but there's always room for improvement," she said. "Some didn't meet their goals and that's what we're working on."

Coach Lomakema said all of the girls ran well, but some perceived that they could have had better times. She said the girls can improve by closing the gaps between the runners.

"Everybody was close together at regionals. They showed what we're trying to do. We clustered together better than I thought," she said.

Coach Lomakema noted that all her runners were academically eligible for regionals. She said that she requires that they go to tutoring and if they are caught up in their other classes they can come to her classroom to work on whatever they want.

Coach Lomakema said she talks to her runners on a daily basis about the need to stay away from drugs and alcohol.

"It's a big part of the philosophy of our program to be drug and alcohol free. Look around at the community and read in the newspaper about the displays of drug and alcohol abuse and how it negatively impacts the community," she said. "Anything can happen because of one bad mistake. We don't want that."

Coach Lomakema said athletes should remain on the good path by respecting their bodies.

She said the Lady Bruins have worked hard this season and she is proud of what they have accomplished as a team.

Boys team

Rick "The Legend" Baker, coach of the Hopi High boys cross country team, said the Bruins ran well and to their potential.

Baker is called "The Legend" because under his coaching, the Hopi High boys cross country team has won 18 straight state titles.

Hopi High won with 19 points, Many Farms took second with 44, Valley Sanders finished third with 111, St. Michaels placed fourth with 126, Greyhills finished fifth with 138, Northland Prep took sixth with 151, Pinon finished seventh with 179 and Rough Rock placed eighth with 199.

Hopi's Ronald Laban was the individual regional champion with a time of 16:56 and teammate Brannon Sidney was right behind him in second place. The rest of the regional championship team included Kevin Tsinniginie, third; Josh Satala, sixth; McCray Huma, seventh; Kyle Silas, ninth; and Justin "Vava Jay," 18th.

The other runners finishing in the top 15 were: Garriot James and Amo Bia, Many Farms, fourth and fifth; Wayne Kuwahoyoima, Greyhills, eighth; Brian Keesie, Many Farms, 10th; Ryon Baloo, Valley, 11th; Jon Jones, Deion Begay and Deon Leonard, all Many Farms, 12th, 13th and 14th; and Dominik Jaeger, Orme School, 15th.

Coach Baker said Ronnie Laban and Brannon Sidney ran particularly well. He was also proud that the Hopi boys packed five runners into the top seven.

"We want the other runners to run close to Ronnie," he said.

Like the girls, Hopi High boys had all of their runners academically eligible. Coach Baker sends his runners to tutoring every day, but also encourages them to get all their assignments done on time.

"I tell them to do whatever their teacher asks," he said.

Coach Baker tells his runners to behave and avoid situations where they have to defend what they're doing.

"I tell them to stay away from drugs and alcohol because it's harmful. That's why it's illegal," he said. "It doesn't help to put foreign things in your body."

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