Turning green into blue

Navajo Pine uses teamwork to change 3rd place into state championship

RIO RANCHO

As the Navajo Pine cross-country team passed the trophy case in their school lobby, the green trophy won last season haunted them.

At the start of the season, they grew tired of looking at the third-place trophy and took it upon themselves and turn it around.

Navajo Pine head coach Kyleigh Thompson said, “They didn’t like the fact that they took third last year just because they knew they were capable of taking first.

“They told us that they didn’t like the trophy, they didn’t want it, and they told us this year they’re going to bring home a blue trophy to replace that trophy,” she said.

Runner raises left index finger as he crosses finish line.

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Navajo Pine’s Michael Marshall holds his finger up after finishing first in the New Mexico Class 1A-2A state boys cross-country meet with a time of 17:11. He finished ahead of teammate Galvin Curley. As a team the Warriors took home the team title with 37 points.

The Warriors kept their word. On Saturday they won the first-place trophy at the New Mexico Cross Country State Championships in Class 1A-2A with 37 points. Mesa Vista followed in second (69) and Mora was third (96).

Navajo Pine sophomore Michael Marshall won the individual state title, finishing first in a time of 17:11.10.

Sophomore Galvin Curley followed in second for the team and overall in 17:12.15, followed by eighth grader Marallus Chee (third for the team, fifth overall), sophomore Dominique Clichee (fourth for the team, sixth overall, 17:57.75) and freshman Micah Tsosie (fifth for the team, 27th overall, 19:31.60).

Marshall said his goal for the race was to lead his team and win the title.

“I had a great start, set my pace, and started to pick it up in the last mile,” he said. “I was just thinking about what I was hoping to get. I didn’t look back.

“I feel excited, happy, excited for what my team has done,” he said. “Words can’t even explain how I feel right now.”

Curley and Marshall shared the lead throughout the season and when one won over the other, neither of them took it personally.

They both have an understanding that the team always comes first.

“We don’t really worry about individual awards, we just worry about our team,” Curley said. “My role was just to keep up with Michael and to have a high team score.”


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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