Harriers receive their postseason due

Senior Charlize Valdez (533) leads Rye’s Clarissa Peterson (534) and La Jara Centauri’s Austyn Shawcroft (528) around a bend in the Norris-Penrose Event Center course during the 2020 CHSAA Class 2A State Championships in Colorado Springs. Again a front-runner for SJBL Girls’ Runner-of-the-Year, Valdez was recently named All-SJBL as well as First Team Academic All-State.
Junior Gabe Tucson (979) runs in Durango during the 2020 Four Corners Southwest Classic. Tucson was recently named CHSAA Academic All-State Honorable Mention for his classroom work during the cross-country season, and also received his first IHS athletic letter in the sport.
Freshman Trajan Garcia (568) competes during the Mancos hosted 2020 Chicken Creek Challenge. Promoted from junior-varsity status not long before, Garcia would finish the season running with the varsity and recently earned his first IHS athletic letter – in any sport – for his efforts.
Junior Avaleena Nanaeto (554) runs during last month’s 2020 CHSAA Class 2A State Championships in Colorado Springs. Already a three-time State qualifier, Nanaeto was recently named First Team Academic All-State in addition to receiving another IHS athletic letter for cross-country.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

Barnes is SJBL Girls’ Runner-of-the-Year

Following Ignacio Football’s season-ending Nov. 13 destruction of Del Norte, freshman lineman Trajan Garcia, who came up with a fumble recovery defensively to aid the cause, took time to assess what the victory signified.

“It means a lot to me because we get to support the community and stuff like that,” he said before exiting the energetic Bobcats’ locker room. “And I think this season … I got a lot of experience. At the beginning I was not that good, but then I started to get used to it and it came to me.”

He could have been referring to his gridiron gains or, being a two-sport ’Cat, his JV-to-varsity advances in cross-country, for which he received his first varsity letter only a couple days before helping trounce the Tigers at IHS Field.

Head coach Daniel Holley proudly reported that the same honor was bestowed upon several members of Ignacio’s first boys’ XC crew in decades, including lone senior Dylan Labarthe, juniors Gabe Tucson and Jeremy Roderick, sophomore Eppie Quintana and freshman Phillip Quintana.

Tucson was also awarded CHSAA Academic All-State Honorable Mention status, despite coping with the added pressure of mastering IHS’ offense as the football team’s starting quarterback, once the Association gave its go-ahead to a Fall 2020 season – commencing as the cross-country campaign was reaching its crescendo.

Emerging as the Lady Bobcats’ No. 1 as an atypical freshman, Maci Barnes was named All-San Juan Basin League as well as SJBL Girls’ Runner-of-the-Year – over both present senior Charlize Valdez, who won the award last year, as well as Mancos senior Grace Manning.

Valdez, meanwhile, was also named All-League as Ignacio not only qualified as a team for the 2020 CHSAA Class 2A State Championships – a first for the third-year reborn girls’ program – but scored a top-10 result on the challenging course in Colorado Springs. Both she and Barnes also received First Team Academic All-State, along with juniors Avaleena Nanaeto and Alannah Gomez, plus freshman Moriah Ashley.

Honorable Mention Academic All-State went to senior Vanessa Gonzales, as well as the varsity letter also awarded Barnes, Valdez, Nanaeto, Gomez and Ashley.

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