Shiprock senior can do it all


Special to the Times | Ray Landry
Shiprock’s Aaron Lee placed third with 35-05.75 effort during the triple jump event on April 6 at the 2018 Shiprock Quad.

Aaron Lee doesn’t just like to try; he likes to compete.

The Shiprock High School senior is most known for his efforts as a distance runner, but he doesn’t limit himself to putting in long miles.

Throughout his four years on the track and field team, Lee has picked up a few extra events that have made him an all-around track athlete, his latest being the triple jump.

Lee said he gave triple jump a go last season and found a knack for it.

“There wasn’t that many people who did it for the school, so I tried it,” he said. “Last year I took district for it, so I think I wanted to try it again and I wanted to win it again, so I decided to come back.”

Lee won the district title in the event last season, which qualified him for the state meet in the event. However, he didn’t place, which motivated him this season.

Lee has yet to qualify in the event this season, but last week, at the Shiprock Quad, he had a season-best jump of 35 feet, 6 inches and placed third behind a Piedra Vista jumper and an Escalante jumper.

Shiprock track and field boys head coach Brian Paniagua said Lee took to the sport quite easily, as he does with any task he sets his mind to.

He said once Lee saw he could do well in triple jump, he was hooked.

“He wanted to try it last year so we only had one or two practices. At a meet in Aztec he jumped a foot and a half before the board and jumped 35 or 36 feet,” Paniagua said. “He kind of just naturally took to that. He didn’t come out for it as early this year because he was still playing basketball…but he’s kind of getting near his marks where he was.”

Throughout his four years on the track and field team, Lee has dabbled in just about everything, especially the wide range of running events.

Paniagua said just this week Lee tried some open sprint events and put up some good times. He said his talent goes beyond distance running.

“He can run anything from 100 meters to three miles. He’s got a lot of talent, a lot of natural talent. That is a tough thing to do (running sprints and distance races),” Paniagua said. “He’s really strong, he’s got some pretty muscly legs and you can see that when he runs. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he’s got a real competitive streak in him.”

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Categories: Track & Field

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at or via cell at (505) 686-0769.