The Flagstaff Peaks Invitational cross-country race invited the best in the state to vie for the reputation of the best in the circuit.
The Page Running Devils’ boys varsity team brought home first place with 40 points and cement their reputation as the team to watch out for this year. Flagstaff high school placed second and Navajo Pine High School placed third.
“It was a pretty good race,” said Tim Martin, cross-country head coach. “We won against Flagstaff High School, which is a good measuring stick because they’re pretty tough all the time. The boys ran strong I felt.”
Because of its elevation and the last uphill mile of the course makes the Peaks Invitational one of the hardest events of the year, said Martin.
“The elevation makes the boys legs more tired,” he said. “Everything feels heavier. You have no snap in left your legs. I could tell they were laboring that last mile.”
Martin said his team got some help from pack running.
The Sand Devils boys team all ranked in the top twenty positions. Bowen Martin placed first with a time of 16:56. Morgan Fowler placed second with 17:32. Skyler Sandoval, placed eighth with 18:12. Lance Harris placed 12th with 18:21. Kaipo Uejo placed 17th with 18:35. Trent Holiday placed 18th with 18:38; and Rex Martin placed 20th with 18:40.
Thirty-seven teams competed at this year’s Peak’s Invitational with a total of 91 runners in the boys competition.
The Lady Running Devils varsity team also did well, bringing home 11th place with 258 points. Nahaniya Fowler led her team placing 39th.
She was followed by Jaddah Whitehair, who placed 40th and Mikala Benally who placed in 52nd place.
Ninety runners competed in the girls competition.
The Lady Running Devils had a bad, middle-of-the-pack start and didn’t progress much beyond that, said Coach Martin.
“The girls did not get out well [from the starting line] and they just stayed there,” he said. “And we didn’t have Sophia [Bryan] with us, so I only ran five girls ibnstead of six.
“Overall, both teams did great for the conditions,” said Martin. “It was a high-quality meet. I just let the [team] know it’s a short measuring stick, don’t worry if you’re [sore]. If you are, it means you ran great.”
The next meet will be in Chinle for the Canyon De Chelly Invitational scheduled for 8 a.m. at the Chinle Market.