Girl with a plan

Rehoboth runner checks off first goal

ALBUQUERQUE

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Rehoboth Lady Lynx Anna Huizinga crosses the finish line in first place in the 1600-meter run Saturday in Albuquerque with a time of 5:31.03.

Before the track and field season started, Anna Huizinga made a checklist.

Only an eighth-grade student at Rehoboth Christian School, she dreamed big and decided to go for gold before she set foot on the track this season.

“I wanted to get champion this year for state,” she said. “Then next year, I want to get the school record, then the next year I want to try for the state record.

Then (in my last year), just run; just run and have fun.”

Over the weekend Huizinga got to check off the first goal on her list as she became the 3A girls 1600-meter state champion in a time of 5:31.03. She was the first to take home the gold for Rehoboth in 15 years, Rehoboth’s Jessie Hale earned the last medal for the Lynx in 2003.

Huizinga entered the race seeded No. 2, which those around her tried to keep her from knowing, thinking it might work against her if she knew.

“My parents didn’t want me to know that I was ranked second in the state, they didn’t tell me. But my head coach told me yesterday,” she said. “If I didn’t know, maybe I wouldn’t have stayed with the girl (tied with her) the entire time, so it was kind of cool seeing how it played out.

Huizinga found a comfortable spot in the second position from the start of the race, just behind Cottonwood Classical senior Rhylyn Jones. The two paced each other for the entire first lap until Huizinga pulled up to run elbow-to-elbow for two laps. In the final 150 meters, Huizinga made her move and took the lead.

She said she had worked on her finish most of the season and it paid off.

“She (Jones) was amazing. She paced me the entire three laps, but I’ve been working on kicking it in the last lap so I did that,” Huizinga said. “It was really fun, and I loved running against all those amazing girls.”


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Categories: Track & Field

About 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.