To qualify as an individual for the state cross country meet, an athlete must finish in the top five within their respective division at the section finals, something that is no easy feat.
Yet one local runner, competing at the Northern Section CIF Championships on Nov. 10, at West Valley High School in Cottonwood, did just that.
Colusa’s Kevin Sarabia took fourth place in the Division V varsity race to earn an individual berth in the biggest high school cross country event in the state.
Sarabia, a junior, finished the varsity boys’ three-mile race in a time of 18:10, over one minute faster than his first attempt on the course back in early October, when the RedHawks participated in an invitational meet there.
In the field of 132, Sarabia crossed the line in 24th place, overall, to punch his ticket to the state finals.
Also having a strong showing at the section meet, was the Colusa varsity boys and girls’ teams, which finished second and third, respectively, in Division V.
In all, it was another successful year for the RedHawks, who have maintained the county’s largest program, which is an accomplishment that co-coaches Matt Giffin and Darren Townzen feel is significant, especially given the impact of COVID-19.
“As coaches, we feel lucky to have kept our teams mostly intact over the past two seasons,” agreed the longtime coaching duo. “While we have many new runners, other local teams have been crippled during this unprecedented time. Our athletes have proven resilient and optimistic. They became a family this year, cheering each other on even during practice. Being MVL Champions in both varsity boys and varsity girls, plus second and third, respectively, in the section, feels pretty good too.”
Unfortunately for the RedHawks, only the first-place teams advance to the state meet, which will be held on Nov. 27, in Fresno. ■