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Navajo Prep's Aiona Johnson named the Daily Times' 2019-2020 female Athlete of the Year

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com
Navajo Prep's Aiona Johnson, seen here playing against Tohatchi in the 3A state girls basketball finals on Friday, March 13, 2020, at Dreamstyle Arena in Albuquerque, was named the Daily Times 2019-2020 female Athlete of the Year. Johnson was named to the All-State Second Team in volleyball, followed the the All-State First Team in basketball.

FARMINGTON – For the two occasions she took the floor on the big stage, Navajo Prep’s Aiona Johnson delivered during volleyball and basketball season. And she did so both times against 3A’s toughest foes.

Within a five-month span, Johnson earned All-State Second Team accolades in volleyball and All-State First Team honors in basketball. Because of that, she was named the Daily Times’ 2019-2020 female Athlete of the Year.

Johnson helped set up counterattacks locking down the middle of the net in volleyball, and she was also a productive hitter both in the middle and on the outside.

Johnson was a two-way threat during basketball season. She smothered foes and swiped at the ball on defense, even when closing in from the backside.

Johnson also created mismatches with her taller frame on the scoring end, getting easy point off penetration and put-back attempts.

Johnson guided Prep to the Final Four in volleyball, and she helped the Lady Eagles win their first state basketball title in 11 years.

Aztec girls wrestler Makayla Munoz named runner-up

Munoz capped off a 33-0 individual campaign with a state title in February.

Munoz was primed to win it all in the 126-pound girls division after back-to-back signature victories at the second annual regular-season New Mexico girls wrestling tournament, in front of the home crowd at Lillywhite Gym.

Munoz pinned Carlsbad’s Cady Box, a 2019 state runner-up, 25 seconds into the third period during the tournament’s semifinals. Munoz then took down Gallup’s Neveah Young, a 2019 state champion, via 12-3 major decision in the tournament finals.

Munoz then cruised to a state championship, pinning Mayfield’s Valeria Garcia Aguirre and Cleveland’s Amanda Smith via second-period pins along the way.

Note: Because the spring sports season was incomplete, the selection process is based on the following criteria: athletes who competed in one fall sport and/or one winter sport, if they garnered All-State honors in one or more sports, and if they dominated against the state’s best on their way to championship glory.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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