Hopi Bruins place third at state championships

CAVE CREEK, Ariz. — Although the Hopi High School boys cross country team finished ahead of nemesis Northland Prep at the AIA Division IV Cross Country State Championship Nov. 12, they had to settle for third place with Northland Prep taking fourth in the 23-team race held at Cave Creek Golf Course.

Valley Christian won the state title with Chandler Prep finishing as runner up.

Hopi High Athletic Director Rickey Greer said the boys ran well and closer to what they have become accustomed to over the years. He said this was especially true after last year.

“We really showed the impact of COVID during last year’s race and our runners struggled in the second half of the race,” Greer said. “This year the team ran a very strong second half of the race.”

The Hopi High girls team did not qualify for the race this year as a team, but three girls qualified as individuals.

“They struggled a bit but will be better off next season with this experience,” Greer said.

Glenn Thomas of Northwest Christian was the individual state champ in the boys race out of 180 runners.

Shereef McKinney was the top Hopi boys runner with a fifth place finish. The other Bruins runners included Duwron Tawvaya, tenth; Arin Numkena, 15th; Antonio Aguilara, 40th; Quinlan Pooyouma, 53rd; Andre Lomaintewa, 101st; and Sooya Davis, 123rd.

In the girls race, Phoenix Country Day won the championship title, Glendale Prep took second and Northland Prep took third out of 13 teams.

Lauren Ping from Valley Christian was the individual girls champion.

Rylee Koopee was the top Hopi girls runner placing 33rd, Valentia Timms took 53rd and Kellee Lomayestewa finished 63rd out of 113 runners.

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