By Arnie Leshin
Christopher Humetewa didn’t think he ran well, wasn’t happy with his 12th place finish at Saturday morning’s annual Rio Rancho Jamboree, but his 5-killometer time of 17:00.70 certainly wasn’t slow, considering the Santa Fe Indian School junior was racing in the championship division.
And while he ran in a field of some of the state’s finest 5A and 4A runners, Justin Howey, the junior from Albuquerque Cottonwood Classical Prep, was in another of the four division races, the large schools, and won in 16:57.10, also against larger schools.
Howey, who finished fourth last year in the state 3A championship, one spot behind Humetewa, is one of two challengers who stand in Humetewa’s way, the other being Zuni senior Deshawan Goodwin, who hasn’t raced against either so far this season, and didn’t participate at the Jamboree.
But Howey did, and he and Humetewa have gone at it several times, with the John Grimley Memorial hosted by Indian School seeing Howey finish first in 16:10.3 and right behind was Humetewa in 16:13.4. That was a good indicator, although Humetewa did place first at the slower Laguna-Acoma Invitational and Howey was second.
And so the Braves’ top harrier, a freshman when Indian School senior Michael Tenorio won state in 2017, ran only 3.10 seconds slower than Howey, and who knows how he would have done versus the large-school division.
And the fastest time for the boys did occur in Humetewa’s race when Laguna-Acoma’s Stevie Salas finished first in 16:18.50. In the team scoring, the Braves placed 16th with 396 points, but without their absent number two runner, junior Isaiah Velasquez.
Also in the championship division, Pecos totaled 608 points to place 23rd and expects to have its No. 1 harrier, senior Isaiah Armijo, back soon after an automobile accident has sidelined him, but he expects to return for Friday night’s Los Alamos Invitational. Meanwhile, the Panthers got a 41stfrom senior Devin Gonzales in 17:53.80.
In the large school division, it was Santa Fe High placing 12th with 300 points, and with senior Mason Nichols running 10th in 18:12.90. Then there was Capital competing with four runners and senior Joshua Namingha crossed the line 72nd in the time of 20:14.90.
In the Small School division, Santa Fe Prep freshman Gabe Cordova came in 15th and clocked 18:51.30 as the Griffins were team runner-up with 114 points. One spot behind him was sophomore Joshua Abeyta timed in 18:51.76.
And Academy of Technology and The Classics was 5th in the small schools with 200 points, and led by senior Gonzalo Reyes’ 7th place in 18:18.50. The winner in 17:43.50 was Wingate’s Kyren McCray.
In the C Team run, Indian School picked up a 20thplace from sophomore Micah Garcia (21:38) and scored 137 points for 7th place. Taos’ Elliott Moltz won the race in 18:78.30.
In the junior varsity division, Braves’ freshman Russell Coriz ran 19:30.50 for 22nd place, and the team took 9th with 273 points.
Also in the JV, Pecos ran up 451 points to finish 17th, and Academy of Technology and The Classics scored 564 for 22nd place. Panthers’ freshman Elijah Lujan turned in a 20:17.40 time to come in 47th, and Phoenix junior Zane Doerner had his team’s top finish, 91st in 21 minutes, while Cade Martin of Albuquerque Hope Christian ran first in 17:15.