By Arnie leshin
It probably wasn’t what Christopher Humetewa expected.The Santa Fe Indian School junior, one of the favorites to win Saturday’s 3A state cross country championships over Rio Rancho High’s 5 kilometer course, he was an early front runner as he wanted to be, and among about eight other runners at the half-mile mark, but as they came down the steep hill for the first time, his two biggest challengers, Zuni senior DeShawn Goodwin bolted to the lead, speeding along as he went, and a few meters later came Albuquerque Cottonwood Prep junior Justin Howey.Next came Humetewa, and he looked surprised but maintained his slower pace, and surprisingly that’s where he stayed, and where in finished, in 3rd place, clocked in 16:42.20, two seconds off his time when also taking third last year. Goodwin, last year’s runner-up, turned in a time of 16:02.80, and Howey, fourth last time, crossed the finish in 16:18.45. Goodwin’s pace was a blazing 5:10, Howey 5:15, NS Humetewa 5:23.“They really surprised me,” Humetewa said. “I wanted to stay with both of them, but they just took off speeding down the hill, and i just relaxed and settled into my pace, and I thought I ran well, but there’s always next year.”As a team, the Braves of head coach Joe Calabaza, finished second for the second-straight time, not as close to Zuni this time, but with 92 points pieced together by their six juniors and one senior. Zuni, which had the lowest scorer, 23, of the day for both girls and boys, has six seniors and a sophomore in its lineup.Junior Isaiah Velasquez was second Indian School harrier to finish as he placed 10th in 17:18.25 running at a pace of 5:35. From17-18-21-22, it was Braves’ junior Isaiah Dasheno (17:51.15). Santa Fe Prep freshman Gabe Cordova (17:35.90). and St. Michael’s senior Justin Sanchez in 17:54.25, and junior Horseman Rowan Flores in 17:56.00. Velasquez is “owed” a top-10 medal after being overlooked (see my commentary) for a place on the podium.In 30th was Indian School junior DeBrylan Canderario in 18:17.00, two spots behind was junior teammate Ethan Vigil in 18:19.25, lone senior Ronnie Coriz 35th in 18:26.00, and junior teammate Jason Mora 40th in 18:38.06. Zuni won five of the first seven places and six of the initial nine.The Griffins finished fourth with 144 points, and their only senior Griffin Rutherford, ran 24th and clocked 18:07.10.In A-2A, Peco put together a score of 110 to place third behind senior Devon Gonzales’ 4th place in the time of 16:57.10. Next came Academy of Technology and The Classics, finishing fourth with 142 points and led by senior Gonzalo Reyes racing sixth in 17:33.30. Both Gonzales and Reyes made the top-10 finishers who made the podium after their race and received medals.Navajo Prep senior Galvin Curley won A-2A for the second time in a row, was timed in 16:13.40, and his team took the top spot with 37 points.In 5A, Santa Fe High ran two runners and sophomores Mason Nichols and Matthew Chavez finished 43rd and 44th as they stepped together at the finish, Nichols in 17:50.45 and Chavez 17:50.85. Rio Rancho Cleveland won with 64 points and the top finisher was Jerrick Maldonado of Clovis in 16:07.50.In 4A, Los Alamos topped the field with 40 points, three better than Albuquerque Academy, and the Chargers’ Julian Garcia finished first in 16:04.75.