FARMINGTON — The Lady Chieftains' season got off to a tremendous start Saturday at the Canyon de Chelly Invite in Chinle, Ariz., as the team came away as champions led by fifth-place finisher Khadija Lapahie.
Lapahie's time was 22 minutes and 29 seconds, and her teammate, Lacey Howe, was behind her in seventh place, with a time of 22:37.
"Our girls ran great, and against some of the powerhouse teams of Arizona like Tuba City, Ganado and Chinle," Shiprock coach Alice Kinlichee said.
The Shiprock boys placed seventh out of 11 teams in Chinle. Arvin Begay was the highest-placing Chieftain, snagging 32nd overall. His teammate, Aaron Gould, placed right behind him in 33rd.
"Our goal was to get our pack time down, and we got it down by almost 40 seconds from our last scrimmage," said Shiprock boys coach Brian Paniagua. "We're starting to run as a pack a little bit better."
The Kirtland Central girls tied for ninth out of the 15 teams that competed in Chinle.
"We're still trying to find our identity, because we've got some girls who are dual sporting," said KCHS coach Lenny Esson.
LaKyla Yazzie ran well for KCHS, taking third in the race.
The Kirtland boys took third in the race and placed two individuals in the top 10: Kashon Harrison took second and Aaron Bunny landed in 10th.
Aztec boys, Farmington girls take first at Aztec Invite
The Aztec boys defended their home field well, finishing first in Thursday's Aztec Invite at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex.
Junior Dwight Barton placed first for the boys.
Steve Lanier, coach of Aztec's boys and girls teams, could not be reach for comment by press time on Sunday.
The Farmington girls had an excellent day in Aztec, grabbing first place out of the six teams that competed.
Four Lady Scorpions placed in the top seven of the race. McKinzey Allee finished first, Kassidy Nez was second, Melina McDermott took sixth and Anastasia Wilkinson finished seventh.
Lady Scorpions coach Kevin Deswood said he was pleased with how his girls performed, but noted the best is yet to come.
"We're not looking really fast right now, so the fact that their pack time was pretty close was encouraging," he said. "We're going to keep working on our base stuff until we get into the middle of the season, then we'll add some speed intervals."
The Farmington boys finished second at the Aztec Invite, five points behind the host Tigers. Danny Hickman took second, and Tanin McDermott was behind him in third.
PV boys and girls land in the middle of the pack at Lobo Invitational
The Piedra Vista boys team finished 16th out of 31 clubs at Saturday's Lobo Invitational in Albuquerque. The team was led by Ben VanOtteson and Brayan Barajas.
The Panthers took fifth out of the 1-5A teams that competed. Coach Sampson Sage said he thinks PV will only get better going forward.
"It was a good day. We went into the meet knowing we had a young team on our hands," Sage said. "Ryan Kruger was coming off a hard training block, so he came out flat. He's normally our top runner, so when he's firing on all cylinder, we'll be better."
The PV girls finished 11th out of 26, which is the highest placing the girls have had at the Lobo Invitational in five years, according to Sage.
Paris Chee led the way for PV with a 39th overall placing. Cassandra Crowell took 43rd.