New Mexico cross country retrospective: the 1990s saw San Juan County continue to evolve

Matt Hollinshead,

FARMINGTON — The 1990s had a nice mix of continued growth and dominance across the Four Corners, as well as first-time champions and the end of long title droughts.

Here’s are some of the notable names in New Mexico cross-country during the 90s:

Aztec’s Amy Swier, Bloomfield’s Stephanie Milam, Newcomb’s Guila Irwin

San Juan County’s reputation for quality cross country talent kept evolving during the 90s.

Swier won four straight individual state titles between 1993 and 1996, while Milam three-peated between 1990 and 1992. Irwin won individual state titles in 1995 and 1997.

Swier’s times were 19 minutes, 54 seconds, 19:43, 18:29 (according to Daily Times archives) and 20:13, respectively. Milam’s times were 19:42, 18:46 and 19:07 respectively. Irwin’s times were 19:38 and 21:14, respectively.

Swier went on to run for National Collegiate Athletic Association cross country powerhouse Northern Arizona University.

The Newcomb girls won team titles in 1990 and 1995, while the Farmington girls and the Bloomfield girls both won team titles in 1991.

Shiprock’s Lance Foster

Foster became the second Chieftain runner to bring home an individual state title back in 1993, ending a 19-year championship drought for any one Shiprock runner. Foster’s time was 16:16.

Las Cruces’ David Krummenacker

Krummenacker became the first-ever Doña Ana County runner to win an individual state title when he won the 1992 4A state championship.

Krummenacker, whose time was 15:53, accomplished that feat during a time when Gallup established itself as a big-school cross country powerhouse. By 1992, Gallup won 10 of its 18 total state titles.

The Gallup boys

Between 1990 and 1999, Gallup picked up another six state championships. By 1994, which was Gallup’s second to last title during the 90s, the Bengals set a state record of 12 consecutive team titles. That feat remains unbroken.

Gallup also had three runners collect individual titles during the 90s.

Bart Humphrey won the 1990 4A boys state title with a time of 16:15, while Brandon Leslie followed suit with back-to-back titles in 1993 (15:37) and 1994 (15:57). Sky Young won a state title in 1998 with a time of 17:16.

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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