Local Runners Compete at Nationals

Joe Denoyer - November 20, 2016 7:45 pm

Local runners competed in the 2016 Cross Country Coaches Youth National Championships at
Angel Mounds State Park in Evansville, Indiana. The runners competed for the Brocaw Blazers cross
country team; a team that has runners from mostly Kansas and Missouri competing on it. Each race was
broken down by age groups in two year increments. The runners had to battle some cold windy weather
as well as their competition early Saturday morning.
Erika Valverde, a freshman from Liberal High School who competed in the 15 and 16 year old
girls, ran the 5K course in 24:28 to place 53 rd place, while sophomore Abby Heger, sophomore from
Hugoton High School ran a 20:50 to place 28 th . The 15 and 16 year old girls with the Brocaw Blazers won
the meet in front of Team Kentucky and Jenks America.
Antonio Borunda-Nunez, Javier Carrillo, and Joel Obando, all sophomores from Liberal High
School competed in the 15-16 boys race for the Brocaw Blazers. Borunda-Nunez ran the 5K course in
17:59 to place 42 nd . Carrillo was the 44 th runner to cross the line in 18:06, and Obando was 47 th place
with a time of 18:13. The 15-16 year old boys’ team won the National Championship.
The 17-18 girls race had Liberal High School seniors Camryn Slatten, Saw Ahmara, and Yanelly
Jurado competing for the Brocaw Blazers. Camryn Slatten and Saw Ahmara both made All-American
honors placing in the top 25, as Slatten completed the course in 20:06 to place 12 th and Ahmara’s time of
20:55 was good enough for 22 nd place. Yanelly Jurado was the 31 st runner to cross the line in 22:00. The
girls were all a part of the National championship winning team.
Dereje Himbago, 8 th grader from Guymon, Oklahoma, competed in the 13 and 14 age group.
Himbago won the Individual National Championship completing the 4,000 meter race in a time of 13:27.
Himbago also helped his Brocaw Blazer team win the team title in front of Team Kentucky and Nashville
Youth Athletics.


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