Braves, Humetewa Set Sights On State
By George Morse
The Santa Fe Indian School boys cross country team and girls cross country team both took first place at the District 2-3A cross country meet Nov. 2 at the Pojoaque Wellness Center hosted by Santa Fe Prep School.
Led by individual champion Chris Humetewa, the Braves scored 40 points to finish comfortably ahead of Prep, who finished with 58 points. Robertson High School from Las Vegas took third place with 83 points.
Humetewa won the boys race, outdueling West Las Vegas High School’s Jared Baca. Humetewa finished with a time of 16 minutes, 37 seconds, while Baca came in with a time of 16 minutes , 43 seconds. Indian School’s Isaiah Velasquez came in third just four seconds behind Baca with a time of 16 minutes, 47 seconds.
Humetewa now looks forward to seeing his rivals Deshawn Goodwin of Zuni High School and Justin Howey of Cottonwood Classical Prep School in the Class 3A state cross country championship at the State cross country meet Saturday at Rio Rancho High School. Goodwin edged out Humetewa by 5.45 seconds for second place at the 2018 Class 3A state championship. Humetewa finished in third place just 1.5 seconds ahead of Howie, who was fourth. With last year’s state champion Epherem Zerai of Sandia Prep School having graduated, Goodwin, Humetewa and Howey look to battle it out for the state individual championship.
Both Goodwin and Howey will be at state. Goodwin won the District 1-3A boys individual championship and led Zuni to first place in the team standings. Howey won the District 5-3A championship and Cottonwood Classical took first place in the team standings.
Velasquez finished eighth last year at state. He and Humetewa will lead Indian School in their bid totake first place in the team standings. Last year, Zuni took first place by nine points ahead of Indian School, who came in second. Zuni scored 40 points to the Braves 49 points. Cottonwood took third, but was well back with 118 points.
Zuni looks strong again, having won this year’s District 1-3A title with an impressive score of 18 points. The Thunderbirds swept the top four places at district and return most of last year’s state championship team.
In addition to Humetewa and Velasquez, Indian School had another top 10 finisher at the District 2-3A meet earn All-District honors. Isaiah Dasheno came in eighth with a time of 17 minutes, 32.89 seconds. Ethan Vigil finished 12th for the braves. DeBrylan Candelario was Indian School’s fifth runner, coming in 16th to complete the scoring for the Braves.
Ronnie Coriz, the Braves’ lone senior, finished 19th and Jason Mora was 21st overall.
For the Lady Braves, a quartet of talented freshmen and a veteran senior led Indian School to its first place finish. The Lady Braves placed four runners in the top 10 that earned All-District honors. Indian School also scored 40 points to take first place. Santa Fe Prep took second place with 64 points and Las Vegas Robertson finished third with 71 points.
A pair of freshmen finished second and third for Indian School behind girls race winner Liana Fernandez of Robertson, who finished with a time of 20 minutes, 34 seconds. Freshman Kendra Emery of Indian School finished in second place with a time of 21 minutes, 2 seconds. Close behind Emery was freshman Destiny Marquez, who was third just five seconds behind with a time of 21 minutes, 7 seconds.
In ninth place, freshman Alexis Aguino finished with a time of 21 minutes, 46 seconds for the Lady Braves. In 10th place was senior Iris Emery, who came in with a time of 22 minutes. Iris Emery is the older sister of Kendra Emery.
Freshman Ariana Montoya was Indian School’s fifth runner, finishing 16th overall to complete the Lady Braves’ score of 40 points. Freshman Nalani Padilla finished 17th and senior Diandra Toya 18th for Indian School.
The Lady Braves will be aiming for a spot on the awards podium that barely eluded them last season at state. Indian School was a point away from receiving the third place trophy. St. Michael’s High School scored 111points and the Lady Braves 112 points. The Lady Horsemen took third place and Indian School fourth at the 2018 3A state cross country championship.
St. Michael’s did not qualify for state this season, so Indian School will be looking to contend with Robertson, who took first place last season with 87 points to edge past Zuni High School, who scored 92 points. Having already gotten the better of Robertson at the district meet, the Lady Braves will be looking at Zuni, who looks strong after winning the District 1-3A championship with 25 points. Cottonwood Classical, Laguna-Acoma High School, Crownpoint High School and Wingate High School also look like contenders in what promises to be a tight race for the girls 3A state cross country championship. The Lady Braves have a legitimate shot at not just third place, but at the state championship.