A win for the entire community

Ganadonegro brings home Alamo Navajo’ first state title

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner Alamo Navajo Cougar Raul Ganadonegro charges to the finish to win the boys’A-2A state title during the New Mexico State high school cross-country championship at Rio Rancho High School on Nov. 5.

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Alamo Navajo Cougar Raul Ganadonegro charges to the finish to win the boys’A-2A state title during the New Mexico State high school cross-country championship at Rio Rancho High School on Nov. 5.

RIO RANCHO

It took about three and a half decades and a runner named Raul Ganadonegro to put Alamo Navajo High School on the map.

The junior cross-country runner earned the school its first-ever state cross-country title.

Ganadonegro finished first in a time of 17 minutes, 27.35 seconds in the A-2A boys race of the New Mexico High School State Cross-Country Championships last weekend.

He said his plan was to finish in first and once he stepped foot onto the course he knew it was possible.

“I knew I could have done it,” Ganadonegro said. “I’m pretty excited. I was happy when I came in, I almost started crying.”

But it was hard for Ganadonegro, Diné, to release tears when he knew his win came down to the simple execution of a plan he and his coach had set.

He started the race out within the back end of the top 10 runners and about half way through the race he started to make his way up to the front of the pack.

He said pacing himself at the beginning was not the way he usually did things, but he knew he had to change things up in order to win the state title.

“I pushed myself to the hardest to become the fastest,” he said. “Usually I would go real fast starting from the beginning all the way to the end, but this time, I saved some energy until the end.”

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Categories: Track & Field

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at sunnie@navajotimes.com.