By Theo Martin | Page High Cross-country coach
Special to the Chronicle
PAGE – The Page Runnin’ Devils ran their first two meets of the season.
The first was in Hopi and the second was in at the Peaks Invitational in Flagstaff. After graduating several top seniors last year, both the boys’ and girls’ squads are looking to maintain the high level of performance that has come to be expected from the Page High cross-country team.
On Tuesday, Sept. 3, the boys and girls traveled to Hopi High School to compete against some of the best in the Four Corners, including Ganado, Tuba City, Coconino, Chinle, and Zuni high schools.
Cross-country Coach Theo Martin said, “Lots of our kids put in a lot of miles over the summer, and we expect that to show.”
The girls had a solid performance coming in fourth as a team behind first-place Ganado. Freshman LaShawnda Yazzie, who is new to the high school team, came in ninth with a time of 23:03 on the 5K course. Yazzie was followed by her teammates, sophomore Miquedah Taliman in 12th, junior Nadya Begay in 19th, junior Kiana Littleman in 30th, and junior Nahaniya Fowler close behind in 31st.
On the boys’ side, Page grabbed a first-place finish with a low score of 45 points. Returning veterans junior Trent Holiday and junior Rex Martin came in second and in third, respectively, behind winner DeShawn Goodwin of Zuni. They were followed by teammates freshman Shayden Begay in 9th, freshman Gavyn Begay in 14th, and sophomore Colton Yazzie in 17th.
Martin was happy with their performance, sighting the fact that many of their top finishers are newcomers, and senior Skyler Sandoval sat out due to an injury.
“This was a strong start for our team, and I am pleased to see some of our younger guys really stepping up,” Martin said.
On Saturday, Sept. 7, the team traveled to Flagstaff to participate in the Peaks Invitational. All of the teams had another strong showing in the event that attracted teams from all divisions and from across the state of Arizona.
The Lady Runnin’ Devils varsity squad was the first Page team of the day to race. Again, led by freshman Yazzie in seventh, Page secured the second-place team trophy behind winner Coconino High School. Yazzie was followed by teammates Littleman at eleventh, Taliman in 13th, Begay in 18th, and senior Ashlyn Adakai rounding out the top five in 25th.
Martin said, “These girls are coming along nicely. If they continue to put in the work, they can be at the top of our division.”
The varsity boys also showed their depth with a third-place team finish, still missing Sandoval who eased back into competition in the open race division where he took the winning spot. At the top of the team scores was Brophy Prep in first and Flagstaff High in second. Martin finished in the front of the pack as the sixth-place individual. Martin was followed by Holiday who came in at 14th, followed by Yazzie in 22nd, Shayden Begay in 28th, and Gavyn Begay in 40th.
“We graduated some big dogs last year,” Martin said, “but we still have a great combination of experienced runners and younger talent that will make a huge impact on this team’s success.”
This week the Runnin’ Devils will face their next challenge at the Ojo Rojo Invitational in Chandler, Arizona.
The boys return as the defending champions from last year’s meet, and the girls look forward to building on the strides they have made already this season.
LaShawnda Yazzie – 9th
Miquedah Taliman – 12th
Nadya Begay – 19th
Kiana Littleman – 30th
Nahaniya Fowler – 31st
Trent Holiday – 2nd
Rex Martin – 3rd
Shayden Begay – 9th
Gavyn Begay – 14th
Colton Yazzie – 17th
LaShawnda Yazzie – 7th
Kiana Littleman – 11th
Miquedah Taliman – 13th
Nadya Begay – 18th
Ashlyn Adakai – 25th
Nahaniya Fowler – 29th
Jaddah Whitehair – 54th
Rex Martin – 6th
Trent Holiday – 14th
Colton Yazzie – 22nd
Shayden Begay – 28th
Gavyn Begay – 40th
Cody Slim – 42nd
Quentin Davis – 63rd