Mesa Grande cross country wins league, misses on CIF

I enjoyed going to Mesa Grande Academy today, to interview the cross country team about winning league but not being able to compete at CIF.

I enjoyed talking to the coaches and athletes about how strongly they feel about their Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. Because they celebrate the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, they can’t compete at CIF-SS cross country prelims because those are during the day Saturday. And CIF won’t change any of them to another day.

It was great to talk to coaches Juli and Robert Simmons as well as boys runners juniors Eli Gorton, Pablo Orozco and Beau Darkens and senior Austin Mock and girls runners sophomores Kaylene Lopez and Lauren Tomas and seniors Morgan Johnson and Emily Thornton. Unfortunately, they weren’t all quoted or mentioned in the story, but I appreciated talking to them as well as I appreciate the other runners who showed up for the photo but had to take off shortly thereafter. Also unfortunately, I had to cut my story short because of space and time constraints.

Story is at  and will also run in Thursday’s paper.

Here is the portion that was cut from the bottom of my story:

The hope is that sometime in the future CIF-SS might change its stance.
“We hope in the next two or three years, we can compete at CIF,” Robert Simmons said. “Right now, we just want to compete at Prelims. Then, if we get good enough, maybe at finals.”

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