Shiprock’s Cassandra Peters, second from the left, leads the start of the girls’ varsity race on Saturday at Chieftain Stadium.
Shiprock's Cassandra Peters, second from the left, leads the start of the girls' varsity race on Saturday at Chieftain Stadium. (Jon Austria The Daily Times)

SHIPROCK — Both Shiprock cross country teams put together strong races at their home meet.

The girls' team came out with a victory, while the boys finished in second at the Shiprock XC Invite on Saturday at Chieftain Stadium.

"Usually at a home race, the kids don't do as well because they are emotionally pumped up, but it worked out today," said girls' head coach Alice Kinlichee. "The meet went fantastic. The teams did well, and there was good competition."

Cassandra Peters finished second overall to lead the Lady Chiefs, placing behind only Rachel Demby of Cortez, Colo.

"I can't say enough about Cassandra Peters. She's come out and been a leader for us," Kinlichee said. "She's been a solid No. 1."

Lacey Howe gave Shiprock two runners in the top five with a fourth-place finish.

Megan Johnson, Sabrina Gould and Tyanna Harry placed 11th, 12th and 13th, giving the Lady Chiefs five runners in the top 15.

Kinlichee liked the strong finish from her team, which picked up its third win of the season.

"I think we're right on track for what we need to do. We just need to keep focused," she said.

The Piedra Vista girls finished second as a team behind Shiprock.

Paris Chee placed third for PV, while Cassandra Crowell finished fifth and Payton Kee finished sixth.

"This was our litmus test where the girls stand, and they're doing well," said Panthers head coach Sampson Sage.

Navajo Prep finished in fourth, and Kirtland Central took fifth as a team.

In the boys' race, Shiprock finished behind Monticello for the team title.

Shawvan Levi took second place for the Chieftains behind Window Rock's Nathaniel Henio to lead the team.

"I felt really good out there," Levi said. "I thought I had (Henio) there for a minute, but he started breaking away from me at the end there."

Levi thought being at home and running a familiar track helped his and the team's performances at the meet.

"I knew where I running and knew where to go. It helped out a lot," Levi said. "We're looking pretty good. We just need to work on sticking together at a constant speed."

Manuel IC took ninth place, and Domonic Crosby added a 10th-place finish for Shiprock.

Shiprock boys' head coach Brian Paniagua likes how the team is progressing and thinks his team will get stronger as it moves toward the district and state meets.

Shiprock varsity boys prepare to start a race on Saturday at Chieftain Stadium.
Shiprock varsity boys prepare to start a race on Saturday at Chieftain Stadium. (Jon Austria The Daily Times)

"I think we're on track to do well in district, then make it to state. Once you're there, anything can happen," Paniagua said.

The PV boys finished fourth as a team without two of their top runners -- Harrison Fleming and Timberlin Henderson -- competing in the race.

"Basically, this is our 2014 team. For them to be able to do that against everyone's full squad is exciting," Sage said. "Collectively, everyone is faster top to bottom than they've ever been."

The Navajo Prep boys finished in sixth as a team, while Farmington High placed eighth and Bloomfield took 11th.

Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or jperry@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.