On the Navajo reservation, there is an awareness that running is part of our culture. We run early in the morning while saying our traditional prayers because it’s the part of the day we are blessed by the holy people. This is how running was introduced to me. I didn’t know I was a good runner until one day we were rounding up our cattle. My grandpa kept asking me to go after the calves which were going into the small washes, the bushes, and creeks. The horses couldn’t get to them, but my 10-year-old self easily could. At the end of the day, 10 miles later, my grandpa told me I was a good runner.
This year, Mel Lawrence was on a roll. She PR'd in 4 events: 2:05.89 800, 4:11.34 1500, 9:34.94 3K Steeple, and a 15:40.18 5K. Woman has got some wheels! She was 5th at Outdoor Nationals in the steeple this summer, which was her highest placing ever at a USA Championship. She is a 5x NCAA All-American out of UW with a 2008 NCAA National Championship team title under her belt. She owns the lowest combined score for a four-time Footlocker Cross Country Finalist (2nd 2nd 2nd 5th)... literally no other athlete has come close to that. She speaks French and cat. And she is also one of my best friends (my own brag). Let's take it away!