New Mexico Boys Cross Country Countdown: #8 Zuni

New Mexico Cross Country Countdown Series

The New Mexico Cross Country Countdown breaks down the top 25 New Mexico boys and girls teams returning this fall. These rankings will include projected top runners and weigh how each team may do in their respective districts and state competitions. Changes to class alignments and adaptions to the state championship format have been taken into consideration. These rankings are based on the past season of performances. All top returning runners are only projections and may include athletes no longer on the team due to transfer or out-of-state relocation.

#8 Zuni Thunderbirds

It should come as no surprise that Zuni comes in at #8 on our New Mexico Cross Country Countdown as defending 3A champions with a strong chance at once again hoisting a blue trophy. For a team like Zunie that should be running out of space in their trophy case, the Thunderbirds show no sign of slowing down as they return five from the state team. Alec Lastyano leads the charge as a 5th place finisher in 2021 as well as Andrew Romancito who nabbed the 9th place finish. The two All-state performers alongside Derek Zunie (11th place in 2021), Mekai Begay (17th in 2021), and Deron Lastyano (34th in 2021) bring the Thunderbirds plenty of state experience. They may be in for a closer match-up this season against Cottonwood Classical but at the moment it would appear that Zuni has the edge. They will rely on new faces to varsity including Keenan Declay and Keeshaul Martinez that could play a role in the success they have this season. Zuni will be aiming for their fourth straight 3A title for meets that they have competed in since 2018. 

Check out 3A Rankings

3A Boys

2021 State Finish: State Champions

State Titles: 1968, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1989-1991, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2013-2015, 2018, 2019, 2021

Individual State Titles: Kenny Bobelu (1978), Oren Lasiloo (1982), Albert Chopito (1985), John Tsabetsage (1992), Louis Quam (1996), Richard Siow (2007), Deshawn Goodwin (2019)

2022 Zuni Rankings

New Mexico Ranking #8
3A Ranking#1
District 1-3A Ranking#1

Top Returning Runners

NameGradePersonal Best (5K)Best State Finish

Alec Lastyano

Sr16:465th (2021)

Andrew Romancito

Jr17:129th (2021)

Derek Zunie

Jr17:3611th (2021)

Mekai Begay

Sr18:0817th (2021)

Deron Lastyano

Fr19:0334th (2021)

Keenan Declay


Keeshaul Martinez


Watch the 2021 3A State Championships Races