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Bearcat boys take 9th in CIF

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 The gun goes of with a thunderous clap and hundreds of runners surge forward from the start line hoping to get a good position to keep and build upon for the next 3.1 miles. The climax of a grueling 5 month season filled with hundreds of practice miles and tens of races; this is the CIF state race.  

“ It was a very fast process, it started and then it was over before I knew it,”

Pablo Cortes, Senior and 2nd on the boys cross country roster

said Pablo Cortes, a senior runner on the Paso Cross Country team. And indeed it was, the race was over in just over 15 minuets for most runners.

The Boys Bearcat Cross Country team took 9th place in CIF state for division 1 teams, marking the end of another highly successful season. Standout runners included Damian Gavilan, 11th grade, who places 13th and Pablo Cortez, 12th grade, who placed 25th overall. Coach Ivan Huff was a big reason for their success, he coaches track and cross country and has led many athletes to CIF finishes.

Stand out performances at CIF include Damian Gavilan who ran a time of 15:23 and Pablo Cortez who ran 15:35. The two helped carry the team to a strong finish in the race. Cross country scoring works similarly to golf,  Gavilan is a junior this year making him the future of the Bearcats.

“At first I didn’t really like running and I dint ever think I was going to run in my life but then I joined track in 8th grade because Mr. Grace was just like “Hey Damian you should join running and I said okay” after a while I decided I really liked running and it was something I was good at. Seeing that other people do well in running and thinking I could do well also I thought I should try it out.” said Gavilan when asked about why he runs.

Damian Gavlilan, Junior and 1st on the boys cross country roster

Pablo Cortez  had different motivations. “To stay motivated you just have to think about what you accomplish,” he said. Both runners have put in a tremendous amount of work running year round to stay in shape and running upwards of 11 miles a day to maintain a competitive edge.  

“Usually races drag on” said Cortez, but CIF state was very fast even for runners who normally run 5 minute mile pace for 3 consecutive miles. The race took place in Clovis, California at Woodward Park, a mostly dirt course riddled with hills, and scattered asphalt sections. “Pure joy and happiness,” said  Damian when he was asked to describe what crossing the finish line felt like. The end of the CIF state race was the culmination of the hundreds of practices and tens of races that went into making the season a success.

Damian had people to thank for the success of this season. “I’d like to thank all the coaches, Coach Huff , Coach East, Couch Hall Coach K, who have been there supporting me throughout the entire season. I’d like to thank Pablo, and Steven for motivating me at every race to become better, ” said Gavilan. Steven Scruggs, a senior was their place on the teams roster this year, he scored 30th over all at the state race. 

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