FARMINGTON — After winning a high school state cross country title for Shiprock in 2011, Hebert Beyale III is having success at the college level as well.
Beyale has been named the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference runner of the week twice for his performances on Sept. 14 and Sept. 21 while running for Haskell Indian Nation University.
The 2012 Shiprock High graduate finished in 30th place at University of Central Missouri Mule Run on Sept. 14 in a time of 22:19, then backed it up a week later with a 71st place finish in the college division at the University of Nebraska's Woody Greeno Invite on the 8K course in a time of 28:18.
Running at the college level has been challenging, Beyale said, but he's enjoying racing against the stronger competition.
"I miss running locally, but right now it's real fun and a great experience," he said. "It's tough getting used to being in the middle of the pack. It's a tough transition."
Beyale is also running along with fellow 2012 Shiprock grad Chad Upshaw at Haskell. Upshaw has been running well too, finishing about 10 seconds behind Beyale in each race.
Beyale said he enjoys having his high school teammate racing with him.
"It's been cool. We've known each other for awhile now," he said. "He knows how I run, and I know how he runs."
Beyale said a big reason for his collegiate success is the coaching he received from Brian Paniagua and Alice Kinlichee during his time with the Chieftains.
"I had two great coaches in high school that knew what they were doing in with workouts and showed me how to work hard," Beyale said.
Paniagua said it's great for Shiprock to have runners who do well at the collegiate level and both Beyale and Upshaw are still contributing to the Chieftain program.
"I'm real proud. I keep in contact with both of them. I'm glad they are running together. They worked really well at the high school level and they compliment each other at the college level," Paniagua said. "They have strong connections to the team still. When they come back, they interact with the team allow the way down to the junior high level. It's nice to see them come back to support and motivate the younger guys as well."
Beyale said he hasn't really set too many goals for his running this season and is focused more on his school work.
"I'm focusing on my education, that's the big thing," he said. "It keeps me in shape and on top of my school work though, because without good grades I won't be able to race."
Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.