Haskell Sophomore Competes at National Marathon Race

Marion, Indiana (NFIC) July 2011

 Picture is Thomas Zunie leading a pack
of runners in 2010 Baker Cross Country
Invitational in Baldwin,Kansas.    
Photo by Rhonda LeValdo-Gayton
With a 6 a.m. start time, Haskell Indian Nations University sophomore runner Thomas Zunie (Zuni Pueblo) was among 76 college runners ready for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) race earlier this year. The event took place in Marion, Indiana and Zunie covered the 26.2 miles in 2 hours and 35 minutes and 41 seconds for 15th place out of 76 runners.

“The race went really well, except I started off too fast and I had to adjust. It was good that I already knew the course from last year, so I knew what to expect. I felt really happy finishing in 15th place, I thought I was about 20th,” Zunie said.

The winner of the men’s race Daniel Tubei, (Park University, MO) finished in a time of 2 hours and 27 minutes. The NAIA is the only division in the four-year collegiate level that has a National marathon race. In order for NAIA runners to qualify they must meet the qualifying standard time in a certified marathon race within the previous year. Zunie, qualified when he ran and won the Kansas City Gobbler Grind marathon in a time of 2:44:14.

Last year Zunie also competed in the national marathon race as a freshman where he placed 20th out of 42 runners with a time of 2:46:07. Zunie is also on the Haskell cross country team where he placed second in the Midlands Collegiate Athletics Conference race in 2010. He says his next goal is to “improve his times and break 26 minutes (in the 8K) for the upcoming cross country season.”