Thursday, March 30, 2023

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Ganado teams heading to state

Ganado teams heading to state


The AIA Sectionals were held at Hidden Cove Golf Course in Holbrook on Tuesday where Division III and IV teams competed for state entries.

For Division IV, the Ganado boy’s team came in first place and the girl’s team came in second.

This was the team’s first year competing in a different division, and it is also the teams first time qualifying for state in years.

Coming in first place in the 5K-meter run was junior Micah Slivers for Ganado, running in 11 seconds ahead of the other runners at 16:30.5.

“It felt good coming in first,” Slivers said. “I had someone beside me to pace with, I pushed him a lot and he pushed me too.

“I’d also like to thank my coach for pushing us, and my parents following me and helping me out all the way through the season.”

Ganado’s second runner was junior Cauy Curley, finishing in third-place with 17:22.1.

“We’re taking it a day at a time and when state comes, we’ll give it our all and hopefully all of our practice will pay off,” Curley said. “It’s been a pretty good season, had a lot of good races so far and hopefully state will be the best one.”

Also running in the Division IV race was Hopi High, with senior Jarren Tenakhongva taking fourth place with a time of 17:32.6. He said his goal for state is bringing back the team title for Hopi and placing individually.

“It was kind of good, didn’t really expect to be far ahead in the pack, kind of looking forward to a team race but it didn’t seem have work out that good,” Tenakhongva said. “Its been a very roller coast ride, having injuries, dealing with COVID, grading, so we would have a pretty stack team but had a lot on the line now.”

For the women’s race, Whitney James came in fourth place as Ganado’s first runner at 21:38.4.

Navajo Times | Cyrus Norcross
Ganado Hornet Whitney James finishes the Division IV sectional race in Holbrook in fourth place on Tuesday. She was clocked in at 21:38.40.

James had missed two previous races because of an injury. This is her first race back and placed in the top five, but she feels she could have done better.

“We’ve been working together at practice, trying to push each other and in the races we won first at our regionals and I feel like we did good today as a team,” James said. “For myself I want to place top five again and as a team I hope to place up there and win a trophy to bring home”

The Ganado girls team lost the first-place trophy to eventual champs Northland Prep by five points while Hopi came in behind them in third place.

In the boys race, Ganado came in first with Piñon coming in fourth, Hopi in fifth and Valley Sanders in sixth, as the top six teams will be going to state.

According to Ganado’s coach Leandra Thomas, the Hornets are looking forward to state and she’s proud of their progress.

“Coming off for several of them who came back from injuries is a good seeding spot for them,” Thomas said.

“We’re excited that they’re able to come back healthy and run them out here,” she said. “As a coach that’s what I’m excited about, getting them all back out here and looking forward to training next week and we’ll be heading out to state.

Thomas added, “I think overall we accomplished a lot. The main thing we focused on is coming to practice and keeping up with their grades, and once they followed each other we been able to put in good practices and that’s how we able to place today.”

Thomas thanks all the Ganado supporters and parents who came out for the team at Holbrook and promises that the team will run its best at state.

About The Author

David Smith

David Smith is Tódích’íi’nii and born for Dziłt’aadí. He is from Chinle and studied at Northern Arizona University. He studied journalism and English for five years while working part-time for NAU’s NAZ Today and the Lumberjack newspaper. After graduating in 2020, he joined the Navajo Times as a sportswriter for two years before leaving in September 2022. Smith returned in February 2023.


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