Ignacio’s trail blazers

Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

Assembled outside Ignacio High School after a preseason practice – and before an impending thunderstorm – is IHS’ first cross-country team, boys’ or girls’, in decades (since members of the graduating Class of 1990 ran in Fall ’89, actually, according to in-house research).  Freshman Avaleena Nanaeto (far left), sophomore Vanessa Gonzales, head coach Marissa Duffey, junior Brianna Henderson and sophomore Jayden Brunson were slated to see season-opening action Thursday afternoon, Aug. 30, in Aztec, N.M., but results were unavailable at press time. Ahead for the squad will be the Sept. 15 Bayfield Invitational, followed by a 9/22 trip to Pagosa Springs. “I just know that when I heard the team was going to get started, I was anxious to be a part of it in any way that I could,” said Duffey, a collegiate harrier at NCAA Division III Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., and 2011 graduate of the school.  “And I was lucky enough to be chosen as the coach!” The new skipper also noted a desire for her squad to set a proverbial ‘pace’ for future Bobcat long-distance runners. “My goal is … to continue to help this program expand over the years,” she continued, “to make sure kids are excited about it every year so that the program continues to grow… also into maybe middle school, and having it offered for anyone who wants to do it.”

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