At Aztec, class acts from two classes

AZTEC

Special to the Times | Curtis Ray Benally

Kirtland Central’s Aisha Ramone kicks to the finish line in the girls’ 200-meter dash on Friday at the Aztec Invitational.

When some see Aisha Ramone they see a little bit of LaKyla Yazzie.

Ramone, a freshman, is young, quick, and has moments when she becomes her own biggest critic — a lot like Yazzie, now a senior, when she was an underclassman. Which might be why the two have become each other’s greatest running allies.

The two are distance runners for the Kirtland Central’s track and field team – and not just any runners. They’re considered the best the Broncos have seen so far.

Kirtland Central coach Leland Adair said the two are similar in more ways than one.

“Last year at state, she (Ramone) was just like what LaKyla was for us four years earlier — she took second at state in the 1,600 – she took fifth in the 800, so we were pleased with that,” Adair said. “It’s safe to say, and I know them real well, they hold every record there is. Those are the two best runners that ever came out of Kirtland Central girls.”

The two have proven that a number of times this season, winning events and getting better times with each meet.

Last weekend at the two-day Aztec Invitational, Yazzie won the 3,200-meter race in 12:22.74, nearly a whole minute ahead of the second finisher. Ramone placed first in the 800-meter run in 2:23.80. Together, they helped the 4×400 relay team finish in first with a 4:12.53.

Yazzie, who has turned in some impressive times this season, said she’s had a new outlook on running after rough sophomore and junior years, and it helped her earn the first place win over the weekend and others throughout the season.

“In the first lap, I paced behind one of the girls, and I thought, ‘This is a good pace,’” Yazzie said. “After that I felt it, and I just took off. I was trying to get a better time for state.”

The last two seasons for Yazzie were all about trying to get better, but it was difficult due to an underlying health issue. She was recently diagnosed with anemia, which affected her running and her mentality as a runner.


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About The 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 or via cell at (505) 686-0769.