Runners battle strong winds at Bloomfield Invite

By Sunnie Clahchischiligi
Navajo Times

BLOOMFIELD, N.M., May 1, 2014

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(Times photos – Sunnie Clahchischiligi)

TOP: Crownpoint sophomore Chenoah Belen prepares to throw her shot during the finals of the 56th Bloomfield Invitational track meet held April 26. Belen placed second in the event with a throw of 30 feet, 9.5 inches. She also placed second in discus and fifth in javelin.

SECOND FROM TOP: Bloomfield freshman Jamie Kosea won the 56th annual Bloomfield Invitational with a winning throw of 32 feet. She won the state shot put title in Class 3A last year as an eighth grader.

THIRD FROM TOP: Miyamura sophomore Niles Thomas begins to pull away from Grants' Mike Anzures during the boys' 1600-meter run of the 56th Bloomfield Invitational. Thomas placed first with a time of 4:39.54.

BOTTOM: Kirtland Central senior Zoey Hooper (third from left) crosses the finish line in the 100-meter dash at the 56th Bloomfield Invitational. Hooper placed third in the preliminaries and sixth in the finals. She placed first in the 400-meter dash.

During the 56th Bloomfield Invitational those running the track were not only competing against each other but against the high winds.

With winds at 36 miles per hour and gusts at 52, the winds became the center of discussion along with state qualification and personal record times. As the winds picked up in the afternoon, those in the running events had to prepare for the worst.

Even veteran runners like Miyamura's Nile Thomas, who placed first in the 1,600-meter run for the boys, had trouble running against Mother Nature. He spent the first three laps trying to stay ahead of Grants' Mike Anzures but the wind slowed him down.

"On the third straight away it slowed me down each time," he said. "When I tried to run it would come at me and on the last lap it was coming at me too, so I had to push myself so it wouldn't catch me."

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