POLACCA, Ariz. - Page High School won both the boys and girls cross country races at the Hopi Invitational Aug. 31 at Hopi High.
Host Hopi High grabbed second place in the boys race and third place in the girls race. Nineteen teams attended the Hopi Invite which kicked off the cross country season for most teams in northern Arizona both on and off the reservation.
Page, a 4A school, won the 96 runner boys race with 31 points. Hopi, a 2A school, took home second with 72 points and Many Farms, also 2A, placed third with 89 points.
Other teams placing in the boys race were: Coconino, fourth, 118; Tuba City, fifth, 126; Monument Valley, sixth, 165; Holbrook, seventh, 211 points; Window Rock, eighth, 220; Winslow, ninth, 240; Pinon, 10th, 242; Snowflake, 11th; 293; Alchesay, 12th, 356; Rock Point, 13th, 369 and Red Mesa, 14th, 392.
Tuba City High School's Billy Orman was the individual champion with a time of 16:38 with Hopi's Justin "JC" Secakuku taking second.
Page won by placing five runners in the top 11: Ronald Hicks, third; Kyron Brown, fourth; Chavis Curley, sixth; Shawn Secody, seventh; and Ammon Secody, 11th.
The other runners for second place Hopi included Daniel Lomayestewa, fifth; Marques Koiyaquaptewa, eighth; McCray Huma, 27th; Wilburn Adams, 30th; Kyle Yoyokie, 33rd; and Darnell Ben, 35th.
The other runners finishing in the top 15 were Everett Carroll, Coconino, ninth; Daniel Nelson, Many Farms, tenth; Aaron Biah, Coconino, 12th; JP Rodriguez Mercer, Snowflake, 13th; Deiion Begay, Many Farms, 14th; and Dennis Kalin, Tuba City, 15th.
Orman, who won the 3A state championship and Hopi Invite last year, said he ran "really hard" and led from the half mile mark.
"This is not the easiest course," he said.
Orman's team also won state last year, but he said with a realignment this year that it will be tougher for Tuba City to repeat as state champs.
"We'll try our best," he said.
Orman said it was a lot hotter this year and the track was "sandier."
"It made the track slower and tougher," he noted.
Several colleges are recruiting Orman for both cross country and academics. He is a straight A student and ranked third in his class. Stanford and several Ivy League schools are recruiting him. He isn't sure about his major, but it will be something in liberal arts.
Born in Baltimore, his family moved to Tuba City when he was six months old.
"Here's a shout out to Tuba City. I love you," he said.
Page won the girls race with 26 points, Tuba City High took second with 51 and Hopi snagged third with 103 points.
The other teams placing included Ganado, fourth, 159; Alchesay, fifth, 191; Monument Valley, sixth, 193; Winslow, seventh, 217; Holbrook, eighth, 223; Winslow, ninth, 276 points; St. Michaels, 10th, 297 points; Valley Sanders, 11th, 305; Many Farms, 12th, 319; Pinon, 13th, 360; and Red Mesa, 14th, 367 points.
Chelena Betoney from Valley-Sanders was the individual champ in the 91 runner race with a time of 21:00:16. Mikayala Hudgins from Page grabbed second right behind her with a time of 21:00:42.
The other members of the championship team from Page included Neva Hurley, fourth; Nicole Douglas, fifth; Celeste Claw, sixth; Jayde Secody, ninth; Tomeka Church, 11th; and Nicolette Coleman, 15th.
The third place Hopi team included Kaitlin Billy, 17th; Christen Ben, 18th; Ashley Onsae, 19th; Claryn Josytewa, 22nd; Shaelanna Antone, 27th; Jasmine Humetewa, 29th; and Jennifer Lomayaktewa, 48th.
The other runners finishing in the top 15 were Brianna Loughran, Tuba City, third; Tatiyanah Johnson, Tuba City, seventh; Colbi Nez, Holbrook, eighth; Jennifer Williams, Tuba City, 10th; Gabhy Stacey, Winslow, 13th; Shelby Jim, Monument Valley, 14th; and April Tracey, 15th.
Betoney, a super sophomore, said she won despite having a sore throat. She placed second in the race last year.
Betoney said the weather was a lot cooler this year because the girls race was later in the day. She said three girls ran a close race this year as she just passed Hudgins right before the finish line.
Valley Sanders finished third at state last year and hopes to finish first or second this year.
"We only lost two runners to graduation, but it's too soon to tell how we'll do this year," she said.
Betoney, who also plays basketball, hopes for an athletic scholarship to college, but isn't sure where she wants to go yet.
The winners in the open races were Hopi's Brittany Little in the girls race and Tuba City's Eddie Loughran in the boys race.