Navajo High School girls’ and boys’ teams punched their ticket to the State Cross Country championship next Saturday. The top seven runners from each team get to compete in the playoffs and all seven Navajo boys and girls competed with a lot of heart at the Regionals in Velma-Alma. The Velma course is one of the tougher courses in the state with various hills and one steady incline. Only four of the 14 runners that Navajo had competing at Regionals had ever competed in a cross country Regional before today.
The high school girls finished in fifth place in order to go as a team. Sophomore, Tabitha Armstrong, led the way with a time of 14:20 followed by freshman Reilly Avila at 14:47. Sophomores Gracee Bates (15:03), Emmy Cobb (15:18), and Lindy Lambert (15:28) all had excellent times and finished strong. Freshman Kalee Cross (15:45) and senior Chelsea Cox (16:49) also ran well to help the team make it to state.
Defending state champion, Cordell, won the Regional meet.
The Navajo boys surprised the field and finished third overall. They were led by juniors Luke Muller, fourth place overall with a time of 19:02, Colby Staggs 19th (19:58), and David Gilstad 20th (20:03). Freshman Holdyn Mandrell had a strong performance and finished 25th (20:15). Justin Stevens ran 21:25, Chris Becker 21:38, and Lane Allen 23:20.
The State Meet is in Shawnee on Saturday. The race will be at the Gordon Cooper Tech Center. The girls will run at 9:30 and the boys will start at 10:15.
Reach Brad Gilbert@482-1221 ext. 2076