Ganado’s Chee reaching peak at right time

JOSEPH CITY, Ariz.

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Ganado senior Jalen Chee leads the 1600-meter race on Friday afternoon at the Joseph City Invite. Chee set a new PR with a time of 4:39.66. Two years ago Chee was the reserve state champion in the 3200 meters as he is seeking his first state title.

As a sophomore in 2016, Jalen Chee finished as the reserve state champion in the 3200-meter race.

The Ganado long distance ace lost that title by a mere second. With it being his senior year, he is looking to break down that door.

“I’ve had an up-and-down year and this would mean a lot of things,” Chee said. “It would be great if I could do that. I’ve been trying the last four years and this is my last year to do it so I want to go out strong.”

Ganado coach Norman Hubbell said Chee has come a long way since the NAU Invite at the start of the season.

“He started off slow but with the help of his distance coach, Koda Livingston, he has made improvements in the necessary areas,” Hubbell said. “He still has some issues with recurring injuries on his feet but he’s pushing through everything. That kid has a lot of fight inside him.”

With the Arizona Interscholastic Association state meet exactly a month away, Chee has recorded the third fastest time in Division III. He set that mark at the Chandler Rotary Invitational in March with a time of 9 minutes, 50.72 seconds in his third track meet this year, beating the AIA automatic state qualification mark by 12 seconds.

At that meet, Chee said he was able to gauge where he’s at compared to other runners in his division. Currently he’s chasing frontrunner Bowen Martin (9:10.85) of Page and Mark Wogan (9:38.09) of Scottsdale Saguaro.

“I did OK but I’m still working to get myself in shape,” Chee said. “I’ve been running to just get a time and I haven’t really worked on (establishing) a pace.”


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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