I witnessed greatness among our area athletes


With the high school sports season finally in the books, I have to admit that some athletes gave new meaning to the phrase “personal best.”
Throughout the track season that is what they trained and strived for.

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
The Page 4×800 relay team pose for a picture after capturing the state title on May 4 at the Arizona Division III state track meet. Team members include from left to right, Bowen Martin, Dorian Daw, Cullen Nockideneh and Trent Holiday.

This past season I was lucky enough to cover two state track meets so I got to witness greatness among our area athletes.

I begin this column discussing the exploits of Tyson Jones, the throwing phenom from Goodyear Desert Edge.

Jones, who won two state medals, set the benchmark for all the Arizona prep throwers. He competed in 13 meets this year and he won every single one of them in both the discus and shot-put events.

On April 19, he hit a personal best of 195-feet, 6-inches in the discus event at the Agua Fria District Meet.

In his best event, Jones went over the 70-foot mark in shot and he set the Arizona all-time throwing record of 70-06 at the Westside Invitational on April 7.

The previous record of 69-03 was set in 1958 by Phoenix North’s Dallas Long, who eventually earned a gold medal during the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

His dad, Tony Jones, said what Tyson has done is unheard of.

“Nobody in the country is doing that,” he said. “And with him being Native American I told him that he can tell his story to inspire other kids that are on the reservation.”

With Olympic ambitions, this talented and gifted athlete will venture out to Virginia Tech in the fall and compete on the Hokies track and field team next spring.

I’m not sure if we’ll see another Tyson Jones in the near future but it was a pleasure to see him perform.

Two other athletes come to mind that were equally as impressive as Jones. At the Arizona Division III state meet, Page junior Bowen Martin won three gold medals while Kirtland Central long-distance runner Kashon Harrison nabbed two at the New Mexico Class 5A state meet.

Martin qualified for four events and he stood atop the podium in three events by winning the 3,200- and 1,600-meter runs in 9:25.02 and 4:20.42, respectively.

He also anchored the Sand Devils’ 4×800 relay team to a first-place finish over Peoria in a rather close race with teammates Dorian Daw, Cullen Nockideneh and Trent Holiday.

Page won the race in 8:04.40, edging Peoria by five-tenths of a second. With the time they turned in, Page set a new school record with the previous record being 8:04.76.

“I really wanted to win,” Martin said of his state medal haul.

At the N.M. state track meet, Harrison completed the sweep in the long-distance races, winning both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.

In the 1600, the KC junior overtook Miyamura’s Ty McCray after two laps and cruised to victory in 4:22.88 on the first day of the two-day meet.

On the next day, Harrison led from start to finish in the 3200 and won the race in 9:48.79.

“Having one gold medal is great but winning two is a bonus,” he said.

 To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!

Are you a digital subscriber? Read the most recent three weeks of stories by logging in to your online account.

  Find newsstand locations at this link.

Or, subscribe via mail or online here.

Categories: Track & Field

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com