KEAMS CANYON, Ariz. – Window Rock harrier Ryan Kee is feeling confident about his chances.
Kee is looking to repeat as champion at Saturday’s Peaks Invitational at Buffalo Park in Flagstaff.
In a razor-thin finish last year, Kee edged Salpointe Catholic’s Michael Urbanski in the Summit Race, which is the meet’s elite event.
The Window Rock runner covered the 5K race in 17 minutes, 30.4 seconds while Urbanski, who graduated this past May, finished in 17:31.1
“That’s one of the races I’m looking forward to,” Kee said. “I’m going to have to go out and repeat what I did last year.”
Kee said he’s not feeling any pressure to reclaim the title, as he had a respectable second-place finish at the Rick Baker XC Invite on Tuesday.
“I know that I’m going to be running against myself,” he said. “I’m going to try and win the Summit again. I just got to stay focused.”
The annual Flagstaff meet draws teams from all over the state and at every level. There is a total of four varsity level races – Ascent and Summit – with the first race starting at 8:45 a.m. (MST) with the Ascent Girls.
The Ascent Boys will follow at 9:25 a.m. and later in the day the Summit Girls will start at 11:30 a.m. and then the Summit Boys at noon.
Ganado senior Jayden Smith is also looking to extend his streak, having won Tuesday’s Rick Baker Invite at Hopi High School.
“I always look forward to running in the big races,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun because they always have tougher competition. It’s always best to run against the best runners.”
Coconino’s Mary McGinlay is also looking forward to running Peaks. On Tuesday, she captured the girls title at the Rick Baker XC Invite.
“We know what the competition is like,” she said. “There’s gonna be a lot of schools there, and we’re ready to compete with them. It’s going to be a lot different than the Hopi course.
“There’s a hill here too, but the Peaks course is in the mountains,” McGinlay added. “We’re used to training at higher elevation.”
Quentin Jodie navajotimes.com Sports
2023-09-01 17:25:10 , Navajo Times