February 20, 2012
TSAILE — Diné College’s championship Cross Country program signed two Navajo Times All Star regional high school runners last Friday, February 17, 2012. They are Dustin Abeita from Thoreau High School and Kevin Gia of Zuni High School.
We are extremely excited to bring two local top tier athletes into our program,” said Diné College Head Cross Country Coach, Gavin Sosa, who traveled to Thoreau and Zuni along with three members of the team to conduct the signings.
This fall Dustin Abeita won the Gallup Invitational and the Rehoboth Invitational. He took 11th in the New Mexico 3A state meet. His personal best for the 5K is 16:42. Thoreau unfortunately cut their track program, so Abeita does not have track times — this also means that “he has a ton of untapped potential,” according to Coach Sosa.
Dustin Abeita shaking hands with Coach Sosa.
Dustin Abeita is the son of Marvin Abeita and Lucille Ramone and the oldest of three children. He loves horses and was given the nickname of “Pony Boy.” He owned and trained 13 horses from colts and tragically, all 13 horses were mysteriously stolen last November causing Dustin and his family great sadness. His dad says Dustin “really gets along with people and loves running. He’s only been running for about a year and a half and has been doing really great, he even surprised himself,” said Marvin Abeita.
Kevin Gia, this fall took 5th place at the New Mexico 3A state meet. His personal best for the 5K is 16:45, for the 3200 is 10:14, and for the 1600 is 4:44. Gia was also selected by Wings of America to run in the USATF Cross Country National Championships — an honor reserved for the top Native runners in the country.
Kevin Gia signing with Coach Sosa.
Kevin Gia is the son of Karen and Joseph Gia, Jr. His mom says Kevin has two sisters who really look up to their brother and are very close. “Keven is really outgoing and likes helping others. He gets his running from his dad,” said Karen Gia.
Both Kevin and Dustin’s parents were on hand for the signings. Both sets of parents expressed their pride in there respective sons and said they were reluctant to let their children go, but were very happy that the would not be “going too far away from home.” Both young men received send offs from their respective high schools. Dustin signed his contract at lunchtime with cake and lots of handshakes and pats on the back from friends, parents and well wishers. Kevin signed his papers in the Zuni High School library with his family, coach and friends.
“These two young men have been friendly rivals all year, as both runners and basketball players. After going head to head several times in cross country races this fall as opponents, they were both very excited to hear that they would be training and racing together next fall as Diné College Warriors. As a coach, it is my belief that runners can only realize their full potential when they train with the best. And we believe that we are bringing in one of the strongest recruiting classes possible. This raises the expectations for our team and for the College. The accomplishments of these young student-athletes is a testament to the dedicated people around them. I would really like to acknowledge their coaches — David Cain at Thoreau and Chris Carroll at Zuni and thank them for their tireless work, along with their parents who took the time to be with us during the signing to celebrate the accomplishments of these young men. It is my hope that we are able to live up to the expectations, hopes and dreams of the families and communities that raised these two young men. It is our goal to bring the USCAA National Title back to Diné College, where it belongs!” concluded Coach Sosa.