Albuquerque, NM – June 18, 2011 – The Native American Sports Warriors Track Club (Sports Warriors TC) and Native Re-Vision have joined forces to host the Fourth Annual Jim Thorpe Native American 5k National Championships. Native Re-Vision is a newly formed national nonprofit whose mission is to guide American Indian student athletes in identifying their unique talents, set goals, and achieve their dreams. Steve Cardwell, founder of Native Re-Vision, has made a long term pledge to serve as both the title sponsor as well as the legal entity for the race, to assist with the development and administration. Both organizations will also work together to develop the race and identify promising Native American distance runners that aspire to compete at the collegiate and/or Olympic level. “Sponsoring and supporting the Native American 5k National Championships is a very easy decision because it fits perfectly with our mission at Native Re-Vision”, states Steve Cardwell, President and Founder.
The race was a great success, with over 45 tribes represented from the U.S. and Canada. The overall male and female finishers were Andy Yazzie, Navajo, and repeat champion Tana Kaskalla from Zuni Pueblo. The open Community Run winners were Kyle Mann and Diane Riley. Age divisions consisted of male and female Children, 5th grade and under; Youth, grades 6th-8th; Young Adults, grades 9th – 12th; Open, out of high school; Masters, age 40-54; and Grand Masters, age 55 & up. The following are the twelve age division winners that earned a National Champions title:
Male division National Champions: Children: Jerico Cleveland, Entiat/Wenatchee, 20:53; Youth: Collins Denetdeal, Navajo, 20:18; Young Adult: Troy Madalena, Jemez Pueblo, 17:09; Open: Andy Yazzie, Navajo, 15:33; Masters: Leonard Lee, Navajo, 18:48; Grand Masters: Galen Martinez, Acoma Pueblo, 21:13.
Female division National Champions: Children: Bryanna Gorman, Navajo, 25:33; Youth: Valene Madalena, Jemez Pueblo, 21:28; Young Adults: Lenore Waconda, Acoma Pueblo, 21:04; Open: Tana Kaskalla, Zuni Pueblo, 19:24; Masters: Yvette Sandoval, Zuni Pueblo, 24:06; Grand Masters: Esther Felipe, Acoma Pueblo, 42:47.
The top three in each division were recognized with special awards. Overall winners in each division claimed their new National Championship title. The event included an open community run, a youth 1k, 400 meter dashes, and 1 and 2 mile fitness walks.
Highlights of the event included the presentation of the Jim Thorpe Award to Gerald Tuckwin (Prairie Band Potawatomi) and his wife Terry. Tuckwin, a former educator, coach and athletic director at Haskell Indian Junior College/Nations University and his wife Terry provided guidance and support to hundreds of Haskell students. The appreciation for the Tuckwin’s was supported by the attendance of over 40 former track athletes’. Acoma Pueblo tribal member, Esther Felipe, retired after 32 years in the Indian Health Service and promoted health and fitness through her running activities. The Jim Thorpe award is given to those individuals who have dedicated their lives to promoting health, fitness, education, sports/athletics, and healthy lifestyles among Native communities. This year’s event showed a 20% increase with over 230 participants in four events. There was also a traditional pueblo throw for all the participants.
Proceeds from the race go towards funding the Sports Warriors Track Club to compete at sanctioned USATF National Championship races. The next championship race for the Sports Warriors will be the USATF Club Cross-Country Championships, to be held this December in Seattle, Washington. For more information about the Sports Warriors Track Club and the 2012 Native American 5k National Championships, please contact SportsWarriorsTC@aol.com.
The Sports Warriors Track Club promotes athletic excellence, wellness, fitness, health, education, physical activity, and healthy lifestyles within and among Native American communities. We accomplish this through sports and athletic programs, clinics, camps, special events, and attending USATF sanctioned events. The Native American National Championships is open to all enrolled U.S., Alaska, and Canadian tribal members.