Holbrook crosscounty hits the trails
HOLBROOK, Ariz. — Jerald Nez is used to running a lot. The former Marine is in his second year as head coach for the Holbrook boys and girls cross country teams.
"I never ran competitively, but in the Marines, you run," Nez said.
Nez is excited for the 2023-24 season after his team placed third at the 3A state meet last year.
Though his team numbers are smaller than the 30 runners he'd like to see turn out, Nez is optimistic about this year's team.
"We only have 14 boys and one girl," Nez said. "But we have some quality runners returning. The seniors run with the freshmen, and help them out a lot."
Seniors Tristan Attakai and Kenneth Nez anchor the team. Attakai is in his fourth year, and according to Nez, is one of the most consistent runners he has coached.
Trevor Taylor, the third senior on the team, is a first-year varsity runner, who shows a lot of promise, Nez said.
"Once he learns to relax, put his race plan in place, and position himself for the end of the race, he has the potential to be competitive,” Nez said.
Leyton Tom was the top finisher for Holbrook in the 2022 3A state meet. Tom, a junior, placed in the top 20 for the meet.
The sophomore class is led by Ian Masayesva, a second-year varsity runner.
"Ian's on the verge of taking off as a runner, he's one of our best prospects," Nez said. "He'll definitely be a competitor at state for the next two years."
The newest runner for Holbrook is Kelton Reidhead, who started his training in the eighth grade.
"A lot of these other kids started running in kindergarten," Nex said. "Several of the schools up here have the kids run for a half mile and then give them a jersey. The kids love it."
Senior Raelle Yazzie is the sole runner for the Lady Roadrunners. She is a four-year varsity runner, who has also competed at the 3A state tournament.
The team's first meet will be the Rick Baker Invite Aug. 29 at Hopi High School.