Broncos, Raiders prep for region with tune up

by Jessica Walker
Contributing writer
It was a beautiful fall day at the Hideout Golf Course for a friendly competition between local teams.
With region races on the horizon for all three teams (the Raiders, Buckaroos and Broncos), athletes enjoyed the opportunity to race without the pressure to compete as teams and without the long travel times typically required for San Juan County sports.
San Juan
Although not the typical team competition, the Milk Run carried high stakes for many of the Broncos, determining which eight runners would attend the region meet in Kanab on October 19 and have the opportunity to qualify for state.
Edward Lyman led the pack with a first place finish and a time of 16:57 on the hilly course.
He was followed by Abe Lyman, who placed third with a time of 17:34.
Ryan McCullough was the third Bronco to cross the finish line, out-sprinting Buckaroo Kooper Nielson by mere tenths of a second. McCullough finished sixth with a time of 18:10.
The next five Broncos came in with a spread of less than 10 seconds. Logan Keith was ninth (18:23) and Rosendo Martine tenth (18:24) while Toby Ward, Noah Begay, and Austin Pincock finished 11th, 12th, and 13th in 18:25, 18:25, and 18:32, respectively.
Martine and Begay clinched varsity spots for region as freshmen on a deep team, a remarkable feat. Both have developed extraordinarily well during their first year running for San Juan High.
Senior Leah Castellon led the girls team with a fourth place finish in 24:14. Castellon, a senior and first year cross country runner, is a multi-sport athlete (cross country, soccer and drill) who has been an amazing asset to the Broncos this season.
Brinley Jones, another talented multi-sport athlete, was fifth in 24:24, followed by senior Saylor Perkins, who placed seventh in 25:10.
Olivia Weeks followed Perkins in ninth in 26:29, while Taryn Nielson and Rose Kartchner came were 11th and 12th in 26:56 and 27:05, respectively.
Megan Back and Jessie Black round out the girls team in 13th and 14th in 31:40 and 32:22.
The Broncos compete in the Region 19 Championships in Kanab this week in their quest to qualify for the 2A state championships on October 25.
Two freshmen led the pack for the boys team: Ethan Begay was 15th in 18:59 and Elam Etsitty in 18th in 19:39. Begay and Etsitty, both freshman, have shown tremendous consistency and strength this season in their races and continue to impress.
Robryan Tapaha finished 29th in 23:42, and freshman Riley Benallie was 34th in 25:06.
Freshman Brayden John was 39th in 26:30, while Phoenix Chee and Dante Silas were 48th and 49th in 35:05 and 35:25, respectively.
Isabel Zuniga led the girls team. Zuniga finished just behind two top Broncos to place 6th in 24:43. Shantel Begay followed Zuniga to finish tenth in 26:36.
Hope Palmer, Samara Begay, and Meagan Morgan rounded out the girls team in 15th, 17th, and 18th with times of 35:01, 35:35, and 37:17.
Seeking to qualify for the 1A state championships, the Raiders will take on region teams at the Region 23 Championships at Monument Valley High School on October 19.

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