EL PASO, Texas - On Nov. 21, the Rez Runners Cross Country Club traveled to El Paso to compete in the Region X cross country meet. Region X consists of the best runners from Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Texas. Sixteen out of 44 Rez Runners, ages 14 and under qualified for the National Jr. Olympic Cross Country meet to be held in Reno, Nevada on Dec. 12.
This was the largest number of kids to make it to the regional meet and the largest number to move on to nationals. Runners must qualify from the USATF Arizona association state meet. The club had 22 first time regional qualifiers.
For them, this was a great first time experience to see just how good the competition is in their respective age divisions. Only five of them were able to make it to nationals. The other eleven runners that qualified have been there before. Only the top 20 individuals and the top three teams move on to the nationals.
Qualifying in the girls Bantam division (10 years old and under) was first-year club runner Jaeda Honani, age 8. She placed 14th out of 125 runners. The girls' Bantam team took fourth place and just missed qualifying. Eleven of the 15 girls from this team will still be Bantam again next year. The Bantam boys team placed 7th overall.
Qualifying in the girls Midget division (11 and 12 year olds) were Danielle Smiley, 11th place and Pretty Honyumptewa, 15th place. Qualifying in the boys Midget division was Triston Yellowman, 17th place. The team placed sixth overall.
Qualifying in the Youth girls division (13 and 14 year olds) were Chelena Betoney, sixth place; Brianna Loughran, 12th place; Ashley Onsae, 13th place; Janelle Miller, 28th place; and Dorshanna Coolie, 48th place. The Youth girls placed second as a team.
Qualifying in the Youth boys division were Alonzo Thompson, 13th place; Eddie Loughran, 15th place; Kyle Hardy, 36th place; Kyle Sumatzkuku, 40th place; Joseph Splude, 53rd place; Roy Pooley-Tinker, 81st place; and Wesley Loughran 90th place. The Youth boys placed third as a team.
The kids participating in the club are from different parts of the Hopi and Navajo reservations and the surrounding area. This is the fifth year the club has taken kids to nationals. The club is growing and the kids are stepping up to the level of competition. We look to a bright future with the kids in the club.
For more information, contact Coach Rick Krause at (928) 255-9330 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.