Navajo Technical University
Crownpoint, NM—On June 11 – 13, 2024, during Coach Leonard Lee’s spring Cross-Country Camp, a three-day running camp at Navajo Technical University, students were trained and engaged in discussions on how the Diné philosophy is integrated into running Navajo clanship and the significance of preserving culture and values. The training involved running around the campus on various terrains such as dirt, grass, asphalt, and gravel.

Coach Lee encouraged the students to reflect on why we wake up early to run and how it contributes to self-improvement. Coach Lee said, “Running is not for everybody, but anybody can run.”

Coach Leonard Lee and the students concentrated on learning to pace, striding, and track techniques. Coach Lee aims to lead his summer camp team in embracing running as a lifestyle. He emphasizes the importance of specific training for success in cross-country running. The student-athletes have access to the best trails around campus and the Crownpoint community.

Harmony Tsosie and AJ Velasquez from the NTU Skyhawk cross-country team assisted Coach Lee with the runners and guided the students.

On the last day of Coach Leonard Lee’s Spring Cross Country Camp, the students were tested on the techniques they had learned over the previous two days. Each student ran a mile around the NTU campus and returned to the wellness center. Inside, Coach Lee discussed the students’ performance and praised them for quickly learning proper running techniques.

All students and their family members were invited to an award ceremony. Dr. Franklin Sage, a professor from NTU’s Diné Studies Program and an avid runner, delivered a motivational speech emphasizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the personal benefits of running. He encouraged the students to continue building on the fundamentals they learned at the camp.

In addition, Coach Lee gave Harmony Tsosie and AJ Velasquez, NTU Cross Country athletes who assisted him with running the camp, an opportunity to encourage the students. Both athletes spoke about the potential they saw in the students and urged everyone to keep running and improve their skills throughout the summer.

At the end of the ceremony, Coach Lee awarded certificates to the fastest male and female in the mile run and the most improved runner. He expressed his gratitude to the students and everyone involved in making the camp possible for the community.

You can apply to Navajo Technical University to join the Skyhawk Cross Country Team. Head Coach Leonard Lee leads the NTU Cross Country.

For more information, contact:

Leonard Lee
NTU Head Cross Country Coach

George LaFrance
Athletics Director / Wellness Center Manager
P: 505.387.7477

Navajo Technical University continues to honor Diné culture and language while educating people for the future.

Dale Morgan, Communications Specialist