Chinle brother, sister win titles at Hopi Invite

Navajo Times | Paul Natonabah
Chinle’s Isaiah Honyumptewa races to the finish line as he outran the field at Hopi Invitational Tuesday afternoon. Honyumptewa’s time was 17:57.4 . In the girls’ race, his sister Alisia also captured the individual title with a 19:42.4 effort.

POLACCA, Ariz.

This was a first for the Honyumptewa running family.

On Tuesday, Chinle’s Isaiah Honyumptewa and his sister, Alisia, captured individual titles at the Hopi Invitational.

“That’s pretty cool because that’s never happened before,” Alisia said. “That is the first time we finished first together because I don’t think it ever happened at the junior high level.”
Alisia was the first to win her race as she outdistanced the field by 52 seconds.

“I just coasted it the whole race and today it was supposed to be our workout race,” she said.

Alisia said she was supposed to stay within the top five girls for the first two miles but there was no one who wanted to set the pace. And by the time they reached that marker, she started to lengthen her stride as she crossed the finish line in 19:42.4.

“That last mile I went hard,” she said.

She won the race by a large margin despite nursing a cold as second place finisher Precious Robinson of Pinon clocked in at 20:34.1.

“I’m really congested,” she said. “I felt like I ran a pretty good race even though I was sick.”

Her brother had a similar approach as he led for all but 100 meters in the race. Near the midway point of the race, Isaiah said a Hopi runner passed him momentarily before he kicked it into high gear.

“I felt motivated to get back on top because I’m a competitive runner,” he said.

Even with an impulse to take over the race, the Chinle senior said he wanted to run a smart race.

“Racing smart is one way of keeping your head in the game to where you don’t get too cocky,” he said. “It just gives me a straight head.”

Isaiah finished his race in 17:57.4, which was better than the 18:18.0 effort turned in by reserve champion Aaron Simien.

Isaiah said winning his race was sweet but it was even sweeter knowing that his sister won too.

“That’s a story in itself,” he said of their double win.

Chinle girls coach Beatrice Begay said it didn’t surprise her that Alisia won her race because of the work she put in during the offseason.

“Alisia has been working with summer training,” Begay said. “That helped her coming into the season. It also helped her brother.”

Begay said having both runners win their race was a big accomplishment but she said there are bigger fish to catch later in the season.

“They did pretty well but we’re looking for them to progress towards the state meet,” she said.

As a team, the Lady Wildcats finished in third place with 87 points. They finished behind Coconino (66) and defending Division III state champion Ganado (82).

“We are trying to find out where we can fit in our fourth and fifth girl,” Begay said. “I know you saw that big gap, especially between my No. 1 runner to 5. Hopefully we can work together and mesh with one another.”

Ganado first-year coach Koda Livingston said he was pleased with how his girls competed in their second meet of the season. Last Saturday, Ganado competed in the Pizza Edge Invitational, hosted by Monument Valley High.

“Considering this is our second meet with our third one coming up this weekend, we used this as another workout,” he said. “We’re trying to get everyone on the same page and getting them on board.”


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Categories: Track & Field

About 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