New Mexico Girls Cross Country Countdown: #21 Gallup


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.


#21 Gallup Bengals

 Gallup will begin its return to the top of 4A in 2022 as they land #21 on our New Mexico Girls Cross Country Countdown. For a team that did not even line up at the 2021 state meet, they return with promise led by Yanibah Begay (39th in 2021) and Merisha Long (42nd in 2021) who are the only returning state runners for the Bengals. Plenty of unknowns surround a team projected to claim a competitive district 1-4A title, yet they boast a great group of girls that could be their varsity seven. Unlike other schools around New Mexico, Gallup may benefit most from a veteran group consisting of practically all upperclassmen including a trio of possible sub-22-minute runners to score huge points come championship season. They will rely on other upperclassmen like Talia Blackgoat, Raven Tso, Jaymi Watson, and Shania Tom. For a program as prestigous as Gallup in the past couple of decades, look out for the Bengals to see an upward trend this year for a possible top-five team finish at the 4A state meet.

4A Girls

2021 State Finish: None

State Titles: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Individual State Titles: Verna Woody (1982,1984), Valencia Tilden (1995), Kelly Concho (1996), Felicia Guliford (1998-2001), Sheyenne Lewis (2002), 


2022 Gallup Rankings

New Mexico Ranking#21
4A Ranking #7
District 1-4A Ranking#1


Top Returning Runners

NameGradePersonal Best (5K)Best State Finish

Merisha Long

Jr22:0342nd (2021)

Yanibah Begay

Sr22:0639th (2021)

Talia Blackgoat

Jr22:23N/A

Raven Tso

Sr24:17N/A

Jaymi Watson

Sr23:46N/A

Shania Tom

Jr28:11N/A

Sammie Cadman

So29:02N/A


Watch 2021 4A State Championship Race