Smoke Signals

XC Boys Cross The CIF State Finish Line

Frank Bellino / Daily Breeze

Frank Bellino / Daily Breeze

Christine Nguyen, Staff Writer

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  On November 25, the West High Boys Cross Country team won the CIF State Championship at Woodward Park. This is the first time that West High has won a state title in the sport.

  The Warriors took the lead during the second lap and finished the race in first place with 1:20:34. There were mishaps along the way, such as Ike Tamanaha (12) forgetting his running shoes, but the Warriors managed to pull through, celebrating their victory at Steve’s Charburger afterwards.

  According to the Daily Breeze, Jason Druten, coach of West High Boys’ Cross Country team, stated, “We talked about it all week and we wanted to make (the second lap) a gut-check lap. We ran the second mile really hard. The whole team stepped up.”

  The varsity girls’ cross country team also ran at the race, finishing in eleventh place. They supported and encouraged the boys cross country team as they ran.  Carmen Hernandez (12), who attended the event, remarked, “We were . . . very nervous, but once again we were hyped in hoping the guys would win state. As they raced, the girls would be on the course cheering them on. We knew this was the final race and that it meant a lot to the guys to win it.”

  Five Warriors scored in the top 21 spots at finals including Tamanaha, who finished in eighteenth place, said, “We were excited to prove ourselves at state, but the disappointment of coming in third and second the past two years was still fresh in our minds. The pain of losing before made this triumph even sweeter.”

  Caleb Terrill (12), who is considered to be West’s current fastest runner by Coach Druten, finished in seventh place and stated, “We were more cautious this time. We knew nothing was guaranteed, no matter what the rankings or previous race results indicated. Knowing how easy it was to fall apart, we all knew that it came down to one final race. We did not take anything for granted, worked hard, and stayed focused.”

  According to a Daily Breeze interview, Coach Druten also mentioned, “It will be short and sweet, but it will be good. We’ve been the favorite the last two years, but had bad luck and taken third and second, to finally come through and see what the big trophy looks like was nice.”

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Christine Nguyen, Staff Writer

Christine Nguyen is a sophomore staff writer for Smoke Signals. She enjoys listening to music, reading, and dancing. She plays tennis as well as the piano...

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XC Boys Cross The CIF State Finish Line