Cross Country strides, sweats, and makes history

On the brisk morning of Nov. 28, 2015, the PRHS Boys Cross Country team and two individual girls raced against 23 other Division 3 schools at the State Meet in Fresno, California and made school history. All 191 girls and 196 boys in the race ran a 5K, 3.1 miles, at Fresno’s Woodward Park.

After a half a year of training for the season and 10 races in preparation, the Bearcat cross country team made it to the CIF State Meet, the apex in high school cross country.

However, it wasn’t an easy feat to get there.

Nov. 5 was the end of the normal racing season for PRHS’ Cross Country team, marked by the PAC-8 League Finals race. On Fairbanks Course, for the third year in a row, the boys team won League. Their team time was 81:33, which is the fastest in Bearcat history. The JV boys sprinted their way to victory in PAC-8 as well, receiving the JV title. The Varsity Girls finished third in PAC-8. The girls squad of 2015 obtained the third fastest time in Bearcat History. Both teams qualified for Prelims.

Next was CIF Cross Country prelims, in which PRHS brought home victory on both the boys and girls teams on a new, flat and dusty course in Riverside. The boy’s team placed second while the girls team took fifth place. These successes did not come easy; the 71 leagues in the Southern Section sent their most excellent schools to be represented at prelims.

Cross Country Meets infographicThe next race determined state.

CIF Finals took place at the daunting Mount SAC. The girls took 10th place overall, a jump from their former 12th place rank. Senior Ashley Davis took 11th in her race with a time of 18:22, and junior Annie Meeder crossed the finish line 18th with a time of 18:45. Both girls qualified as individuals to race in CIF State Finals.

The boys team also brought home victory. By ranking, they were not expected to even make it into the top five, but they ended the day with second place, only 18 points behind Brea Olinda, the CIF State Champions of 2014. The boys received the Runner-up Award for the Southern Section, beating 567 other teams in the Southern Section.

Next up was CIF State Finals.

The girls were the first race of the day; the clouds hung low and ominous, slowly creeping along the hills, a stark contrast to the speed of the runners. Ashley Davis finished in 13th place, sprinting an exhilarating time of 18:08, just under six minutes a mile. And, pacing herself for a time of 18:26, her fastest time ever, Annie Meeder came in 23rd out of the 190 other runners. These were the fastest times ever ran by a Bearcat runner on the girls team for the Woodward Park course.

Seven boys from PRHS’ Cross Country team raced in Fresno, going up against 189 other boys, but with excellent results. Placing in 14th and 15th place, juniors Luis Armendariz and Trad Berti completed the race with times of 15:34 and 15:37 respectively. Close behind were seniors Gannon Chamberlain and Josh Potter in 27th with a time of 15:53 and 39th in 16:03 respectively. Senior Taylor Bedrosian came in 100th at 16:44 with freshman Pablo Cortes 18 seconds back at 17:02 and junior Damien Navarro a mere two seconds from Cortes.

Altogether, the Boys Cross Country ranked third in the State, the best results since receiving seventh place in 2014

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