Four run­ners com­pete at XC State meet

Rebels’ Smith takes 18th in D-1

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Sports - By MERISA JENSEN Val­ley Press Sports Ed­i­tor

Four Val­ley ath­letes com­peted at the CIF-State Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships in Fresno on Satur­day.

Quartz Hill fresh­man Bri­anne Smith fin­ished 18 over­all in the girls Divi­sion 1 race, while se­nior team­mate Cameron Smith was 42nd over­all in the boys Divi­sion 1 race.

“I was re­ally proud. It was their first time at state for both of them and it’s the first time I brought any­body to state,” said Quartz Hill coach Matt Bierow­icz, who has coached the cross coun­try team for 14 years. “So, it was ex­cit­ing all around. We brought a lot of kids up here with them to sup­port. We had about 10 kids up here run­ning around, cheer­ing them on. They both did re­ally well in an in­tim­i­dat­ing race and re­ally fast run­ners. They held their own and held their own.”

High­land ju­nior Daniel Ro­driguez fin­ished 84th in the boys Divi­sion 1 race and Desert se­nior Jade Chris­tensen was 144th in the girls Divi­sion 5 race.

Bri­anne Smith’s time of 18 min­utes, 7.3 sec­onds was a per­sonal best and the fastest time by a Quartz Hill girl at the Wood­ward Park course.

“It was good,” said Bri­anne, who was happy to be eat­ing her sour patch kids and gummy bears on the car ride home. “It was nerve-rack­ing but ex­cit­ing at the same time.”

She fin­ished 18th out of 184 run­ners.

“We’re ex­cited to have Bri for an­other three years,” Bierow­icz said.

Bri­anne also fin­ished ninth last week at the CIF-South­ern Sec­tion Divi­sion 1 Fi­nals to earn all-CIF hon­ors.

She will be run­ning the 2-mile and 1-mile in track and field in the spring.

Cameron Smith ran a time

of 15:42.5, the se­cond fastest time for a Quartz Hill boy, to fin­ish 42nd out of 179 run­ners.

“It started out pretty fast, prob­a­bly faster than I had an­tic­i­pated,” Cameron said. “But I was able to just kind of fin­ish out the race strong.”

He was most ex­cited to make it to the state cham­pi­onships as a se­nior.

“Just be­ing there was very ex­cit­ing,” Cameron said. “It was kind of just like the end goal. It was nice just be­ing there and be­ing able to run.”

Cameron took fifth place in the CIF-South­ern Sec­tion Divi­sion 1 race last week for all-CIF hon­ors.

“That was a very ex­cit­ing race, just be­cause go­ing into it I wasn’t go­ing to make it (to state) as an in­di­vid­ual,” Cameron said. “But I just kind of found some­thing within me the last 400 me­ters. Just found an­other gear and was able to pass a few guys. When I fin­ished the race it was that sense of re­lief know­ing (I) had given it ev­ery­thing.”

Cameron is look­ing at sev­eral schools to con­tinue his ed­u­ca­tion and ath­let­ics, in­clud­ing UC Irvine, UC River­side, Cal State Long

Beach and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

“We’re sad to see Cameron go, but we know he’ll do re­ally well in his col­lege pur­suit,” Bierow­icz said. “He’s al­ready try­ing to get that lined up.”

But be­fore then, he’s look­ing for­ward to the track season.

“I’m try­ing to look at track right now,” Cameron said. “There’s a 2-mile record call­ing my name.”

The 2-mile record is 9:12, set by Ja­cob Branch.

“That’s go­ing to be my goal for this season,” Cameron said.

Bierow­icz said he is also look­ing for­ward to the track season.

“It was a re­ally nice way to end the season and we’re re­ally ex­cited about track and field,” he said.

Ro­driguez, the Golden League cham­pion, fin­ished with a time of 16:08.5 at the state meet for 84th in Divi­sion 1. He was ninth last week at the CIF-South­ern Sec­tion Divi­sion 1 Fi­nals, and was also all-CIF.

Chris­tensen ran a time of 22:21.3 in the Divi­sion 5 race on Satur­day. She was 144th out of 198 run­ners.

Chris­tensen also fin­ished ninth in the CIF-Cen­tral Sec­tion Fi­nals last week.

Con­trib­uted photo

FO­CUSED — Quartz Hill fresh­man Bri­anne Smith (1322) com­petes at the CIF-State Cross Coun­try girls Divi­sion 1 Cham­pi­onships in Fresno on Satur­day. She fin­ished 18th.

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