KINGMAN – Kingman High School’s Holly Tsosie was in a great position during the third lap of the 1,600-meter run. The Lady Bulldog sat in second and was in the hunt for a first-place finish at last weekend’s AIA Division III Track and Field State Championship.
“I was kind of freaking out because I didn’t think I would be in that position,” Tsosie said. “I thought something went wrong. ‘What happened to the girls? Where are they? Am I dreaming?’ I never thought I would be within 100 meters of (Rio Rico’s) Allie Schadler in the third lap of the mile. But it was a dream come true.”
Unfortunately, Tsosie couldn’t hold her spot as two runners passed her. Her fourth-place finish at 5:27.02 was still good enough for a medal, and she also took seventh in the 3,200 and eighth in the 800.
“It means a lot to me,” Tsosie said of her three top-10 finishes. “It is a very big accomplishment. The division is very tough. I admire Allie Schadler. I’ve been following her.”
Schadler won the 1,600 at 5:08.20, while Salpointe’s Ana Alvarez was second and Window Rock’s Chamique DuBoise was third.
“I was chasing (Schadler), and she did have quite a lead on me,” Tsosie said. “So all I wanted to do was just get closer to her because I know she’s tough and she knows what she’s doing. The two girls who were in front of me, second and third, Chamique DuBoise and the girl from Salpointe, I wanted to follow them because I knew they were awesome racers, too.”
Even more impressive for Tsosie is the fact she entered the 1,600 seeded No. 16 and she finished in the top-5. It wasn’t an easy accomplishment though, as she had to put in a lot of hard work with distance coach William Kern.
“My coach and I have actually been training so much and so hard that it did pay off,” Tsosie said. “When it came to state, all I was thinking was, ‘I need to do better.’”
Tsosie also ran the 800 on Saturday and finished in 2:28.29 for eighth place. She entered as the No. 8-seed, so she held her own. However, Tsosie did mention that two races that day did take a toll on her.
The weather also affected runners with windy conditions, but that didn’t bother Tsosie.
“The wind didn’t faze me at all because I didn’t think about it,” she said.
Tsosie started off the state meet Friday by improving her No. 16-seed in the 3,200 with a seventh-place finish at 11:52.29. She mentioned that she didn’t know what place she would take in the race, but was just trying to be confident.
“When I walked up to the line, I wasn’t nervous at all,” Tsosie said of the 3,200. “I was very confident in how I was going to run. I had it all planned out. I had my coach’s voice in my head and I followed what he said. What to use when the wind is hitting you, what to do with your arms, your legs and your form. I used that the whole entire race.”
Tsosie’s mentality paid off as she scored all of Kingman’s points, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 25th-place finish at state.
“Holly Tsosie, being the only athlete from Kingman High School, did not disappoint,” Kingman track and field coach Alexander Mayo said. “She brought her ‘A’ game and walked away with very good state places in all three events she ran, and even a medal. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”