February 27, 2012
Chinle — Last week three additional Navajo Times All Star Runners signed contracts to compete with Diné College’s Cross Country Team. They are are Justin “Bob” Yazzie, Annette Brown and Charles Manymules. The runners are all from Chinle High School.
“We came into this recruiting season with two overarching goals. One was to bring in a group of young men and women who are willing to put in the incredibly hard work needed to become better runners, better students, and better people, and who are willing to push those runners around them to do the same. The other goal was to start to build connections with some of the best coaches here in the Southwest. I think that bringing in Charles, Bob and Annette meets both of these goals,” said Gavin Sosa, Diné College Head Cross Country Coach.
Justin “Bob” Yazzie is the son of Rose and William Yazzie. He has a younger brother, sister, niece, and nephew who look up to him and call him “Uncle Bob.” He has been running since he was four years old. His award winning high school coach, Shaun Martin, is his brother-in-law. He’s a big Phoenix Suns fan. Yazzie grew up in Canyon De Chelly and loves to run in the canyon.“I’d like to thank my past coaches Melissa Martin, Darlene Norberto, Shaun Martin, my family, and the Chinle High Cross Country team for getting me to this point,” said Yazzie.
Annette Brown is the daughter of Cozy Brown, Jr., and Antionette Whitesinger. Annette is enthusiastic about pursuing her future at Diné College. “I’m looking forward to accomplishing many goals and plan to keep running for life. Running is a great opportunity for me to go further every single day. Running is a part of me and always will be,” said Brown.
Charles Many mules is the son of Watson and Marilyn Manymules. “I want to thank everyone that coached me in my past years. Darlene Norberto, my family, Coach Martin, and everyone who always supported me, even when I doubted myself,” said Manymules.
Over the years these young runners have each demonstrated the ability to perform their best when their teams have needed them. Annette, has run the 5K in 20:34, and while she usually runs sprinting events in track, she is interested in focusing more on the longer distances this spring now that she has committed to running at the next level. Bob has run the 5K in 17:03, the 3200 in 11:17, the 1600 in 4:55 and the 800 in 2:08. After putting in some great work the last few months, he and Coach Martin believe that he will improve on many of those times before graduating. Charles finished his senior Cross Country season by taking 14th at the Arizona 3A State Meet in a time of 16:39. His fastest 5K is a 16:29, and he has also run the 3200 in 10:05 and the 1600 in 4:58. He is also expecting to see some great performances this spring, as well as keeping his streak of not being out-sprinted at the end of races.
“I'm excited to see the results of bringing together a group of highly talented athletes from Arizona and New Mexico and providing them an opportunity to live together, train together and to continue developing as young adults. While so much of the focus is often on the individual athletes themselves, I think it's important to recognize the coaches, parents, families, and teammates who have been partners in their success. We at Diné College can only hope to continue working with and supporting these young men and women as they take the next steps in their lives,” said Coach Sosa.
“This is the ULTIMATE GOAL, not winning races or state titles, rather, earning a scholarship and bettering oneself. All I want for every single one of my athletes is to use running to better themselves. This is an accomplishment GREATER than any win or title,” said Shaun Martin, Chinle High School Head Cross Country Coach.
"As the coach of the Diné College distance program I am humbled by the trust and confidence that these runners, their families and coaches have put in us, and we are committed to doing our absolute best to live up to the standards that they have set," concluded Coach Gavin Sosa.
For more information about Diné College’s Cross Country Program call, (505) 948-2014.