Warrior teams pull off sectional wins, hope to repeat at state

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

HOLBROOK, Ariz., Nov. 7, 2013

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(Times photo – Donovan Quintero)

Navajo Pine Lady Warrior Annoesika Laughlin crosses the finish line in first place with a time of 20:13 at the N.M. District 5-2A cross country meet in Rehoboth, N.M.




Considering the talent level, no one expected the Tuba City Warriors to sweep last Saturday's sectional cross-country meet held at the Hidden Cove Golf Course. Not even long-time Warriors coach Arvis Myron.

The boys teams got the day started by placing six runners in the top 13 and finished the team standings in first place with 38 points, which 16 points better than arch rival Page.

The Lady Warriors then completed the sweep by finishing ahead of defending Division III state champ Page 78 to 92, much to the delight of the Tuba City faithful.

With that the Warriors are hoping for a repeat performance at this weekend's Division III state cross-country meet, which will take place at the Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix on Saturday.

"I was really surprised on what they did," said Myron, who expected his girl's team to finish no worse than fourth. "They've been improving every week and I was very happy for them because it's been awhile since the girls won."

Senior Brianna Loughran (20:17) led the Tuba City attack with a third-place finish. Chelsea Shepperd (21:29) was a distant 12th as the Tuba City senior finished two spots ahead of Darshina Yazzie. (21:38).

The Warriors also had Kristen Henderson (25th) and Rhiannon Worker (29th) help with the team score.

"They ran a real good race and they really came together as a group," Myron said. "I am glad they pulled it off."

Page, meanwhile, had Lara Yazzie as its top finisher as the sophomore completed the race in 21:10. Jordan Roskelley (21:36) came in a close 12th, ahead of Aniya Nez (20th), Tomeka Church (23rd) and Mia Smith (32nd).

Last week the Sand Devils did not compete at the Holbrook Invite and went to the Mt. SAC cross-country meet in Walnut, Calif.

"I think a little bit of that trip is still in their legs," Page coach MacArthur Lane said. "We have to get the girls rested and hopefully their legs will come back for the state meet this weekend.

"I hope everyone gets healthy because there are some teams that are hurting like we are," he added. "But I think the north teams should do really well."

Individually, Ganado sophomore Nikesha Eagleman (19:44) held off teammate Daangoiina Haven (20:03) for first place.

They helped the team to a fourth-place finish with 98 points and lost third-place honors to Mingus Union by a mere point.

Monument Valley, which was paced by Shayla Tate's (20:46) sixth-place finish and Tripper Tate's (21:09) eighth-place effort, came in fifth in the team standings with 111 points.

Chinle came in sixth with 125 points while Window Rock had 152 points as the top seven teams qualified for state.

Window Rock had two runners that made the all-sectional team with Hannah Smiley placing 10th with a time of 21:23 ahead of freshman Chamique Dubois (15th). Chinle, meanwhile, had Tamarie Tracey placed fifth overall with a time of 20:40. Winslow's Brittney Curley (21:28) was the only individual state qualifier from the area as the junior finished 11th overall.


Boys

Individual winner Jeffrey Miller did all he could to help the Page Sand Devils but it was not enough as they finished second to Tuba City. Miller won the race with a time of 16:34 as the Page junior held off Brian Masayesva of Tuba City by three seconds.

"I've been feeling sick the last few days but I was able to overcome it," Miller said, who set the tempo in the middle of the race. "We started out running nice and chill but as the race started to gel, I decided to take over the lead."

Miller was not the only runner from Page that was feeling ill as they left their No. 2 runner at home. In addition, their designated No. 3 runner had to drop out of the race because of a back injury.

"Our main goal was to qualify for state," said MacArthur. "We have a couple of kids battling illnesses and that hurts but we had five guys that ran well enough to finish out the race."

With Miller, the Sand Devils had four runners make the all-sectional team with junior Tylon Yazzie (16:55) placing fourth ahead of Michael Tsosie (17:12) 10th and Joseph Spude (17:29) 14th.

The Sand Devils fifth runner -- Kenley Nez -- came in 25th with a time of 17:56.

"We're going to try and get as healthy as we can," the Page coach said. "And you know some coaches had to hold out a couple of kids who were not feeling well so things might change for (this) week. Hopefully we can run our best."

For Tuba City, they were also not feeling 100 percent as they had a few runners battling illnesses, particularly frontrunner Anthony Masayesva, who finished 13th overall.

"We have a couple kids that are sick and they are still coming off their illness," Myron said. "Anthony had a virus the last couple of days and we'll try and get them fully rested for the state meet and be mentally ready."

Anthony Masayesva (17:28) ended up being Tuba City's sixth runner as his twin brother Brian came in second with a time of 16:37.

Sophomore Albert Fuller (16:55) came in next in fifth place, ahead of Eddie Loughran (17:05) eighth, Jaiden Melendrez (17:19.52) 11th and Vaughn Jackson (17:19.87) 12th.

Other top performers that made the all-sectional team included Window Rock runners Nathaniel Henio (16:45) and Leighton Quintana (17:07). Henio placed third overall while Quintana came in ninth. Both runners pace the Scouts to a third place finish in the team standings with 130 points as they finished ahead of Chinle (146), Mingus Union (160), Winslow (173), Holbrook (180) and Ganado (225).

All those teams got its entire team qualified for state with the Division III boys starting its race at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday. The Division III girls will follow at 10:45 a.m.

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