Making progress: Window Rock harrier takes 4th
A year after missing the all-state team by five slots, Window Rock junior Ryan Kee left his mark at this year’s Arizona Division III state cross-country meet.
Last season, Kee placed 26th overall, and on Saturday, he took fourth in one of eight competitive races at the Cave Creek Golf Course in north Phoenix.
“My season went pretty good,” Kee said while noting his high placement at state. “Last year, I got sick, and I was fighting a cold, so I ran better today.”
Kee stayed with the lead pack, which included eventual D3 winner Micah Slivers of Ganado, Salpointe Catholic’s Michael Urbanski, and Rio Rico’s Jorge Trujillo.
“I got out to see who would go out and take the lead, and I just stayed behind them,” Kee said of his strategy. “I pretty much settled in for that first mile and tried to stay up with them.”
Kee was clocked in at 16:08.8, while Slivers won the race in 15:55.1, followed by Urbanski (15:58.2) and Trujillo (16:02.8).
With the top three finishers set to graduate in the spring, the Window Rock harrier is looking to win next year’s state crown.
“I’m going to try and go for the course record,” Kee said of the 15:03.32 mark set by Tuba City’s Billy Orman in 2010.
“That’s what I’m going to aim for,” he said.
With a time of 16:47.2, Page freshman Symond Martin was the area’s next top finisher in eighth place.
Page senior Quentin Davis cracked the top 10, while Ganado’s Cauy Curley took 16th. Holbrook sophomore Leyton Tom placed 18th, and Ganado junior Jayden Smith (20th) rounded out the area’s all-state runners.
In the girls race, Chinle landed four on the all-state team headed by senior Temyra Bia’s runner-up finish. The Lady Wildcats also had sophomore Tumayah Bia in seventh, Janessa Segay in 15th, and Reshila Curley in 16th.
Page and Ganado also had one runner each make the podium, with Lady Sand Devil Jade Reid taking sixth and Lady Hornet Damira Allen taking 12th.
“I’m very proud of each one of them,” Ganado coach Leandra Thomas said of having four of her runners make the all-state team. “That’s always a coach’s dream and team goal to have our runners compete at state.
“This is where the best teams and best runners are at,” she added. “This is a chance for them to showcase what they’ve been doing all year.”