Cameron Becenti finished 7th at state meet

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FARMINGTON — Runner Cameron Becenti made a stronger effort over the last year to keep pace with the front of the pack.

The recent Navajo Prep graduate, already confident in his long-distance speed and stamina, believes that approach helped him achieve stronger results in cross-country. And now he looks to stay up front while competing for the Haskell Indian Nations University cross-country team.

"I can be a good add-on to the team," said Becenti, who signed with the Fighting Indians today. "If you want to have a good race, you've got to have a good start. You always want to be out in front."

Becenti said he used to fall toward the back of the group in the early stage of a race during previous seasons, but he improved his initial acceleration during his senior year last fall.

From there, Becenti said he knew he could stay with the pace setters.

Becenti helped lead Navajo Prep to back-to-back 4A state titles in boys cross-country in 2016 and 2017. He finished strong in 2017, placing seventh overall at state in the boys race.

Becenti said Haskell, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics program in Lawrence, Kansas, doesn't offer athletic scholarships in cross-country, but he is guaranteed a roster spot.

Becenti said he will try to be even bolder in terms of pushing the pace at certain checkpoints in a race. He acknowledged there was at least one race last season when he wasn't as daring as he could have been, which resulted in a less-than-satisfactory result.

"If I take a little more of those risks, I think I can push myself a little more," Becenti said.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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