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Area’s Best: Chinle’s Temyra Bia, Laguna-Acoma’s Erica Martin head all-star class

Area’s Best: Chinle’s Temyra Bia, Laguna-Acoma’s Erica Martin head all-star class

(Editor’s note: The Navajo Times All-Stars for football will be released in next week’s issue.)

WINDOW ROCK

The future looks bright for Chinle harrier Temyra Bia.

The Chinle senior plans to run at the collegiate level and she’s currently assessing all of her scholarship offers.

As one of the area’s top runners, Bia won six of her races this year as she earned the distinction of the Times’ Runner of the Year along with Laguna-Acoma harrier Erica Martin.

“I’m just so happy to get this,” Bia said. “To be honest, I was thinking it was gonna be another runner, so I’m surprised.”

Bia, who placed second at the Arizona Division III state meet, credits her teammates and coaches for inspiring her.

“I feel like we all pushed each other and we always encouraged each other,” she said. “We all had the same positive energy and that put me up there.”

At the state meet, Bia turned in a 19:14.5 effort, hitting a new PR.

After having a consistent year, Martin came on strong at the tail end of the season, winning her final two races.

One of those races earned her a spot atop the podium at the New Mexico Class 1A-2A state meet as she finished the 5K race in 20:20.1 on the Albuquerque Academy course.

She beat her pervious PR at Academy by a minute and 36 seconds.

“Last year I got 17th,” said Martin who was third at the pre-state preview at the Academy Extravaganza with a 21:56. “I really didn’t do that good that year because of COVID and I got sick. Then I went out too fast.

“This time I knew I could do it. I put my mind to it with all the practices that went forth to this meet that really paid off a lot. My coach Lacey Natseway pushed me and thanks for my family for always supporting me.”

Behind a pair of state championship teams, Chinle’s Beatrice Begay and Santa Fe Indian School’s Lloyd Padilla were honored as the coach of the year.

Returning all seven runners from last year’s state runner-up team, SFIS packed its first three runners in the top eight spots and all five in the top 13 to finish with 40 points and on top for the first time since 2003.

The Lady Braves held off in-town rival Santa Fe Prep, which squeezed its first four runners in the top 10 points, to finish second with 56 points. Santa Fe Prep was hurt by its fifth runner who was 28th.

“It was an amazing finish,” Padilla said following his team’s first-place win. “They have the game plan already. They set their goals at the beginning of the season and we just worked towards it. The whole Santa Fe community came together and pushed them and encouraged them and pulled it out.”

In Arizona, the Wildcats ran away with the team title as it scored five runners for 61 points, outpointing reserve champ Salpointe Catholic as the Tucson school finished with 91 markers.

Chinle placed four runners in the top 16 headed by senior Temyra Bia, who took second behind state champ Kylie Wild of Salpointe Catholic.

Sophomore Tumayah Bia took seventh, followed by sophomore Janessa Segay (15th), junior Reshila Curley (16th), and senior Lukendria Cly (31st).

“This is wonderful,” Chinle coach Beatrice Begay said. “It’s been a good chase. Hard work on their part, but it’s a great feeling.”

Navajo Times | Quentin Jodie
The Chinle Lady Wildcat captured the Arizona Division III state title under longtime head coach Beatrice Begay. The Chinle coach was selected as coach of the year.

All-Stars

Alisia Valerio, Aztec

Desirae Gurule, Bloomfield

Temyra Bia, Chinle

Tumayah Bia, Chinle

Janessa Segay, Chinle

Reshila Curley, Chinle

Lakendria Cly, Chinle

Tyra Tsosie, Crownpoint

Courtney Craig, Crownpoint

Magdalena Gauna-Casaus, Cuba

Cara Toledo, Cuba

Kailey Julian, Dulce

Madison Germaine, Farmington

Kapiolani Anitielu, Farmington

Jazlyn Zunie, Farmington

Taylor Biggambler, Flagstaff

Yanibah Begay, Gallup

Payton Johnson, Gallup

Damira Allen, Ganado

Sheena Smith, Ganado

Laila Martinez, Grants

Cadence Siow, Grants

Rylee Koopee, Hopi

Valencia Timms, Hopi

Kaylena Chinana, Jemez Valley

Leylana Medina, Jemez Valley

Haylee Nocki, Kirtland Central

Kamyra Goldtooth, Kirtland Central

Johnaya Tyler, Kirtland Central

Erica Martin, Laguna-Acoma

Zaiya Martinez, Laguna-Acoma

Howling Yellowhair, Many Farms

Neilana Begay, Many Farms

Lorianna Piestewa, Miyamura

Shelby McCray, Miyamura

Latisha Mutte, Monument Valley

Lillianna Fatt, Monument Valley, Utah

Rylee Edaakie, NACA

Alexia Yazzie, Navajo Pine

Nicole Tsosie, Navajo Prep

Ronalda Begay, Navajo Prep

Keyilnaazbaa Howard, Newcomb

Jade Reid, Page

Alyssa Harris, Page

Isabella Manning, Page

Nicole Pierce, Piedra Vista

Makenzie Yazzie, Piedra Vista

Brooke Nez, Pine Hill

Nevaeh Natan, Pine Hill

Lydia Lambson, Ramah

Emily Garcia, Rehoboth Christian

Marvah Toddy, Rehoboth Christian

Violet Francisco, Rio Rancho

Tayleen Woody, Rock Point

Destiny Marquez, Santa Fe Indian

Destiny Chino, Santa Fe Indian

Alexis Aguino, Santa Fe Indian

Kendra Emery, Santa Fe Indian

Rayann Concho, Santa Fe Indian

Kaydence Platero, Shiprock

Taylor Begay, Shiprock

Jazelle Thompson, Shiprock

Keira Littlesalt, Shiprock Northwest

Alyesia Barlow, Snowflake

Amber Woody, St. Michael

Leonna Slim, St. Michael

Hannah Hurley, To’Hajiilee

Mychalyn King, Thoreau

Mikayla Numkena, Tuba City

Neveah Barlow, Valley

Heidi Clark, Whitehorse

Lamyia Benally, Whitehorse

Telicia Tom, Wingate

Keira Casamero, Wingate

Jocelyn Farland, Winslow

Shania Chavez, Zuni

Arianna Lasillo, Zuni


About The Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com

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