Tonto Apache Team On Track For Miami Gold

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If the track and field summer scenario unfolds as Tonto Apache coach Billy Joe Winchester predicts, the tribe team will have ample representation at the Junior Olympic National Championships, July 29 to Aug. 3, in Miami, Fla.

"We have kids who have a great chance at (qualifying) for it," he said.

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Tonto Apache Track and Field Team member Santana Curtis finished fifth in the midget boys shot put at the Arizona State track and field championships at Glendale Community College. His mark of about 23 feet was a personal record.

To earn a berth in the national finals, the Tonto Apaches must finish among the top three in their age group at the Region 10 championships, July 10 to 13, at Glendale Community College.

Kindall Begay, Mike Waterman, Valentino Doka, Shentel Begay, Santana Curtis, Josh Quotskuyva and Paul Burdette are among the Tonto Apache athletes Winchester envisions reaching Miami. All were medal winners at the Arizona State Track and Field championships May 31 at Glendale College.

Kindall Begay won a pair of gold medals in the intermediate girls shot-put and discus. Mike Waterman captured both throws events in the young men's division.

Competing in the midget boys age group, Doka was second in both the shot-put and discus. Paul Burdett threw his way to a silver medal in the young men's discus.

Bronze medal winners included Jarred Begay (midget boys shot put), Matt Johnson (intermediate boys shot put and discus), Shentel Begay (young women's discus) and Josh Quotskuyva (young men's shot put, discus and javelin).

Paul Burdette copped a fourth place in the young men's shot-put.

Santana Curtis was fifth in the midget boys shot put. In the young men's javelin, Paul Burdette was fifth

Following the meet, Winchester praised his team members for performing well in the searing desert heat that often exceeded 100 degrees.

"It was hot, but once again our kids did a super job," he said.

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