It has been more than three decades since Providence High won its first and only CIF Southern Section championship.
The Pioneers will now have to make room for more honors in their trophy case after winning the Southern Section Division 5 boys’ cross country title Saturday at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.
The team will move on to the state championships in Fresno next weekend.
Providence scored 64 points, far ahead of runner-up Viewpoint of Calabasas, which scored 117.
“These guys have worked incredibly hard. They worked all through COVID and stuck together as a team and supported each other,” said coach Michelle Boucher, who took over the team in 1999 following the passing of coach Paul Sutton and has remained ever since.
Senior Xander Penaflor finished third overall to lead the way, covering the 3-mile course in 15 minutes, 33.2 seconds.
“I couldn’t have done it without the team supporting each other throughout the whole process,” Penaflor said.
Senior Connor Flynn finished eighth in 16:22.6. Junior Aidan Urbina was 17th in 16:35.3.
Freshman Henry Virtue, the younger brother of former Burroughs running star Emily Virtue, was the fourth Pioneer, finishing 22nd in 16:53.3.
Junior Trevor Deane finished 31st in 17:09.5.
For extra insurance, sophomore Dillon Yell finished 49th in 17:42.2.
Senior Jackson Hicks finished 11th in 20:09.0.
Providence’s qualification for the state meet is the first ever for the Pioneers as a team.
“It’s a crazy experience,” Virtue said.
Providence freshman Aubrey Eaton qualified for state individually as she ran 19:02.4 to finish seventh overall in the girls Division 5 final.