After eight weeks of intense training, it’s race time for Wings of America Junior Women’s and Junior Men’s teams, when both of Indian Country’s top harriers compete against the best 14 to 19-year-old runners at the USATF Cross-Country National Championships this Saturday in Bend, Oregon.
The National Championships is scheduled for River’s Edge Golf Course. The Junior Women will compete over a 6K course, while the Junior Men race over an 8K terrain.
Each of Wings’ Junior Women and Junior Men’s teams consist of seven runners. Also each team has one alternate.
Wings’ Junior Women’s team members include Esther Beck of Ganado High School, Chamique DuBoise of Window Rock High School, Kloe Littleman of Page High School, Ali Upshaw of St. Michael Indian High School, Alliana Atencio of Rio Rancho High School, Sierra Delaware of Rio Rancho High School and Paris Chee of Piedra Vista High School. The alternate is Michaela Hawkins of Kirtland Central High School.
Serving as Wings’ Junior Women’s head coach is Sheila Sturges of Jay High School of Jay, Oklahoma.
“I believe these young ladies are excited and ready for this challenge,” Sturges said.
Topping Wings’ Junior Men’s team is Jordan Lesansee of Albuquerque Academy High School. Earlier this week, Lesansee (Jemez Pueblo/Zuni Pueblo), was named New Mexico’s Gatorade Cross-Country runner of the year for his outstanding performance during last fall’s season.
Joining Lesansee on the Wings’ Junior Men’s squad are Santiago Hardy of Chinle High School, Kashon Harrison of Kirtland Central High School, Nicholas Jameson of Miyamura High School, Michael Tenorio of Santa Fe Indian School, Jericho Cleveland of Volcano Vista High School, and Jalen Chase of New Town, North Dakota High School. The alternate is Steven Nez of Gallup High School.