Alamo runner brings home national 5K championship trophy

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Dayna Guerro, 16, of Alamo won the national championship for the Native American High School Girls Division in the sixth annual Jim Thorpe National Native American 5K road race championships, along with the New Mexico-United States of America Track and Field Association 5K road championships, held in Albuquerque on June 29.

Courtesy Steven Mills: Runners Steven Mills and Dayna Guerro hold their awards from the Jim Thorpe National Native American 5K road race championships held on June 29 in Albuquerque.

Guerro finished second in the USATF 15-19 age division. Steve Mills, 51, also of Alamo brought home second place in the masters division. Mills and Guerro were two of the 111 runners who participated in this year’s road race.

“Last December I ran in the USATF National Cross Country Championships and got my rear end kicked,” Guerro said. She finished 96th out of 150-plus runners from around the country.

“I just told myself I have to do better, I have to work harder,” Guerro continued. “That’s when I set my sights on Greensboro (USATF National Track and Field Championships) to see if I could do better. I have worked really hard for the past six months and am starting to see my times really improve; I’m excited to run against some of the best in the country.”

This is Guerro’s first national title to add to her collection of state, regional and district titles she has amassed over the past year in high school cross country, track & field, and road racing.

What’s next for the two runners? Dayna heads to Phoenix to compete in the Region 10 Track & Field championships in the 800-meter and 1500-meter runs on July 6 and 7. She will compete for a qualifying spot to go to the USATF National Championships in Greensboro, N.C., July 22 through 28.

During that time Mills will travel to Cleveland, Ohio to compete in the National Senior Olympics in the 5K, 800-meter run & 1500-meter run.

Guerro needs $5,000 for her trip to North Carolina for the National Championships. To date she has raised approximately $2,800, thanks to the Alamo Navajo School Board, bake sales, raffles, run-a-thons, mucking horse stalls, etc.

If you would like to help send her to North Carolina, contact Steve Mills at 854-2727 or stevemagdalena@hotmail.com to arrange cash or service donations for the trip.