The Navajo cross-country teams had their hands full Saturday when they competed against several of Class 5A’s top teams at Cache.
Navajo is a Class 2A school, but they never shy away from competition, choosing to embrace it instead. The meet was an excellent test to see where they stack up against larger schools and for the most part, Navajo runners did not disappoint despite missing two of the team’s best runners — Holdyn Mandrell and Riley Newman.
For the men’s team, David Gilstad finished 25th with a time of 19:11 on the 5K course and was followed by fellow senior Luke Muller who finished 39th with a personal best time of 20:11. Freshman Airen Josefy finished 42nd at 20:35, Justin Stevens finished 61st with a personal best time of 22:42, Chris Becker finished 62nd with a personal best time of 22:47, and Lane Allen finished 64th with a personal best time of 22:57 in the field of 101 runners.
Senior Devin Grimes finished in ninth place in the junior varsity race, medaling in his first cross-country race.
“I was pleased that all six varsity runners finished under 23 minutes and that several had personal bests,” Coach David Doss said. “Finishing in ninth as a team, while missing two of our top runners, is progress.”
As for the high school and junior varsity girls, in the 3200-meter run, Reilly Avila had a season-best time of 14:55 and finished in 16th place for the high school women’s division, while Lindy Lamber finished 48th with a time of 18:24.
In the junior varsity division, freshmen Rocio Quihui and Angela Nichols finished fourth and sixth, respectively, doing very well individually, even though Navajo did not have enough runners to compete as a team due to softball team regional conflicts.
In the 3200-meter run for the junior high boys’ division, three of Navajo’s four runners received a medal. Eighth-grader Tucker Lambert finished 12th with a personal best time of 13:28, while sixth-graders Ethan Keochanthanivong and Clayton Adams finished 23rd and 32nd, respectively, with times of 14:01 and 14:22.
Lastly, the junior high girls competed in the 2400-meter run and had an impressive sixth-place team finish.
Eighth-grader Trinity Rohrer led the back with a time of 10:48 for a seventh-place overall finish.
Eighth-grader Lilie Graham also received a medal with a 25th-place finish with a time of 11:28, while sixth-graders Lexie Little finished 36th and Adison Friese finished 37th.
Seventh-grader Reagan Rodriguez finished 50th and sixth-grader Taylor Smith finished 59th in a field of 119 runners.
Navajo teams are slated to compete at the Hinton meet Oct. 4. The meet is for Class 2A only and will be a great opportunity to see where they stack up against other teams in their own class.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.