The Hopi High School Boys Cross Country team did it again and
won the Division IV Cross Country State Title for the 26th time
in a row. Hopi Bruin Diome Talaswaima (sophomore) finished 2nd place,
a second behind individual State Champ Zhariff Lee of Many Farms,
both with a time of 16:34.
Legend" Coach Rick Baker stands proudly with the Hopi High
School Boys Cross Country Team after winning their 26th State
Cross Country Championship Title
(l-r) Darion Fredericks, Trey Lomayestewa, Jihad Nodman, Diome
Talaswaima, Steven Baker, Iverson Qumyintewa, and Andre Lucas
Talaswaima placed 2nd with a time of of 16.34.
Photo: Jihad Nodman, Diome Talaswaima, Trey Lomayestewa, Steven
Baker, Iversen Qumyintewa, Darion Fredericks, and Andre Lucas.
and supporters look on as the Hopi Bruin boys Cross Country
Team celebrate a good finish.
The first five runners for each team are counted towards the
final score; points are counted in the place they finish. First
place: one point, 5th place: five points and 10th place: 10 points.
The team with the least points wins.
Hopi scored 59, Talaswaima, 2nd place, Andre Lucas, 9th place;
Jihad Nodman, 11th; Darion Fredericks, 12th and Iversen Qumyintewa,
25th. The rest of the team: Steven Baker placed 45th and Trey Lomayestewa,
The team was greeted at the finish line with more than 100 fans
and family members who traveled over 200 miles to support the team.
"I'm feeling pretty good. I think we pulled it off and the guys
ran really well," said Coach Rick Baker, Hopi High Boys Cross Country.
"They exceeded our expectations; Diome had a chance to win the race,
but was out run."
Baker added there is always pressure being the defending State
Champs. The team started out slow, but said they felt confident
after the Sectionals the week before.
"We had guys who ran well so we knew they were going to run
well today," said Baker.
Assistant Coach Juwan Nuvayokva said the guys ran well than
they had expected them to run.
When asked about the pressure from ESPN following the team,
coach Nuvayokva responded, "It was nerve wrecking, but we told the
boys the publicity comes with being a part of a State Title team.
They pulled it off with a win today. It's good for the Hopi community
and the school."
Nuvayokva said they prepared the same way they have for the
past 25 years and didn't change a thing.
Talaswaima said he felt motivated and pumped up to run, "Everyone's
words near the finish line encouraged me to sprint harder. Hopi
Many Farms placed 2nd with a score of 129, followed by Pinon
High School, 154 points.
Hopi Girls Cross Country
Honani placed 2nd with a time of 19:11
Jaeda Honani, a freshman came in 2nd place with a time
of 19:11; behind her were teammates Jennaya Day in 14th place, 17th
Latifah Huma, 27th Lauryn Honwynewa, 52nd Leann Lomatska, 59th Verronica
Casuse and 118th Pearlyn Lomahoema.
"This is one of the hardest races because it was the State finals.
I ran till I had nothing left," said Honani.
This was Honani's first year running high school cross country,
although she started late in the season she felt she ran well. She
plans on running next year and will train next summer to get the
State Title back.
The Hopi Girls Cross Country placed 3rd with a score of 112;
Northland Preparatory School placed 2nd and the State Title went
to Scottsdale Prep with a score of 64 points.
Girls Coach Laverne Lomakema said they had come up with a strategy
to follow but fell short.
"This was the hardest and the best I've seen them run as a team,"
said Lomakema. "We had a lot of injuries this year and we tried
to get them healthy before they got back on the trails."
Lomakema said Jaeda did good and added that she set a goal to
become State Champ and to catch all the top runners.
"Jaeda has a bright future; she likes to run, but has a lot
to learn," said Lomakema. "No one expected us to come in top five
and that is what motivated the girls and I'm proud of them."