A year ago the Providence High boys’ cross country team won its first CIF Southern Section title and just the second in any sport in the school’s history.
Saturday afternoon in the CIF Southern Section championships at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, the Pioneers built upon that as both the boys and girls teams advance to the California State Meet next weekend in Fresno.
This year was also the first time both Providence teams made it to the CIF Finals in the same year.
“We didn’t do exactly what we wanted to do, but it gives something to work on for next week,” Providence co-coach Michelle Boucher said. “(This) was a great experience. We just need to keep everyone healthy. It should be a fun trip and we’re excited about it.”
The Providence boys team finished fifth in Division 5 with 176 points. Viewpoint of Calabasas won with 123 points. The top seven teams advance to the state meet.
The Pioneers were led by sophomore Henry Virtue who covered the hilly three-mile course in 16 minutes, 8.9 seconds.
Senior Aidan Urbina finished 15th in 16:41.7. Senior Trevor Deane took 19th (16:49.5). Junior Dillon Yell finished 64th (17:55.6). Senior Ryan Sarmiento (97th, 19:14.6), freshman Ernesto Brandon Alvarez (102nd, 19:40.3) and senior Mason Spencer (114th, 21:19.8 round out the Pioneers.
Virtue is looking forward to a return trip to Fresno.
“I wasn’t too happy with my state time last year so I want to make a difference when I go,” he said.
Providence finished sixth in the Division 5 girls standings with 158 points. Viewpoint won with 63 points.
Sophomore Aubrey Eaton finished fourth overall in 18:27.3. She qualified for the state finals last year as an individual.
“I’m excited this year to go with my whole team. We’re really excited and looking forward to it. The hills were a little tough,” Eaton said. “Other than that I felt pretty good. It’s fun to be together. We love being together and it is great making memories along the way.”
Also for the Pioneers were sophomore Reese Eaton (18th, 20:02.1), sophomore Natalie Gonzalez (21st 20:16.9), senior Emily Avila (74th, 22:55.5), junior Erika Agazaryan (76th, 23:00.8), junior Eva Barahona (81st, 23:35.3) and Nayirie Aladadi (102nd, 28:17.9).
Burroughs sophomore Isabella Galustians finished 71st in the Division 2 girls final in 20:14.9. She did not advance to the California State Meet.