Top-ranked Sand Devils flex their muscles

Prepared to defend state title

The Page High School boys’ cross-country team is still firmly in the driver’s seat after a decisive victory last week at the Lake Powell Invitational.

Page’s five competing runners all finished in the top 10, with the three fastest boys finishing within three seconds of each other. Page outscored Chinle by almost 20 points to take a first place team finish as well.

Individual times for the race were as follows:

2nd – Dorian Daw, Senior, 16:19.90

3rd – Bowen Martin, Junior, 16:20.10

4th – Morgan Fowler, Junior, 16:22.10

8th – Trent Holiday, Freshman, 17:13.30

10th – Kaipo Uejo, Junior, 17:29.10

The No. 1 Sand Devils hosted rivals No. 2 Tuba City and No. 3 Chinle on the Manson Mesa, giving both a performance to fear with the 3A Division Championships coming soon. 

Head coach MacArthur Lane said the boys have shored up their fourth and fifth runners to establish an all but unbeatable team. Page’s consistent front three runners Daw, Martin and Fowler, have also improved their times as the season has progressed, Lane added. 

“We wanted to show [our compitetors] that they can’t beat us,” he said. “I think we did that.”

Lane sounded both confident and proud of his runners, noting that going into the championships Page is a clear favorite to take the title for its fourth year in a row. 

The front three boys are likely to take top 5 finishes at the championship meet if they stay on top of their game.

“They really want to keep that streak going — to keep that legacy going,” Lane added. “They have the drive and, to be honest, at this point I’m just pointing them in the right direction. They’ve found the motivation on their own and they’re really believing in themselves.”

Meanwhile, the girls’ team secured a second-place finish at the Lake Powell Invitational, falling just behind Chinle by only four points.

The girls’ individual scores were as follows:

2nd – Victoria Tenpenny, Senior, 20:18.90

5th – Sofia Bryan, Junior, 21:18.20

11th – Kodi Tate, Junior, 22:18.20

12th – Mikala Benally, Junior, 22:27.70

20th – Nariah Begay, Junior, 23:51.00

With an inflow of talented but inexperienced runners this year, Lane said the future is bright for the Lady Sand Devils.

The girls are projected to take a fifth place finish at the 3A championship meet, but Lane feels the statistics are selling Page short.

“We showed we have the potential to beat Chinle,” he said. “If we get all the girls firing on all cylinders and racing well, I can see us placing in the top three.”

The girls will have to tackle No. 4 Chinle and No. 3 Ganado to get a spot on the top podium.

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