Narbona newbies log impressive finishes


Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Ty McCray (left) leads the 10K race at the 39th Annual Narbona Pass Classic on Sunday with Alvin Begay closing in. McCray won the race with a time of 37 minutes, 40.76 seconds while Begay finished in 37:46.99.

Other than making a wrong turn during Sunday’s 10K race, Ty McCray was delighted with his performance at the 39th Annual Narbona Pass Classic.

Under sunny skies the soon-to-be Miyamura High senior covered the rather taxing course with a winning time of 37 minutes, 40.76 seconds.

“I lost a 200-meter lead, but I managed to catch that guy,” McCray said

That person was Alvin Begay who finished a close second with a time of 37:46.

“He was behind me two, three meters coming down the hill and I just took off the last 800 meters,” McCray said. “I just kept pushing the pace.”

Admittedly, the 17-year-old said he still needs to work on his kick but he’s hoping to use his latest win as a springboard to the upcoming cross-country season. In three previous years, he said he competed in the 5K race with his best finish coming last season when he finished as the reserve champion.

“I wanted to go out bigger because this is my last year for high school cross-country,” he said. “Coming into this race I told myself that I had to tackle the 10K race and this year I got it.”

McCray said he was hoping that Santiago Hardy would be there but the two-time champion did not compete.

“He was the defending champion and it would have been great to race him,” McCray said.

Nonetheless, McCray said nothing changed in the way he ran his race.

“I was on pace of hitting 37, 38 minutes,” he said. “I kept it going and I felt like I had a little extra in the tank.”

Valarie Martus, a Diné residing in Erie, Colorado, finished first in the women’s 10K as she toured the terrain in 44:44.23, which was nearly four minutes off the course record set in 1987 by Angela Chalmers of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.

“I’ve never ran this race before so this was interesting,” said Martus, who is originally from Blue Canyon, Arizona.

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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