Jennifer Sandoval liked the sport first, then realized it could be the means to an end.
Sandoval, the standout cross country and track and field runner, signed Friday with San Jose State.
“I felt like it was the right fit for me because … I got along well with the team,” she said. “I saw how their atmosphere was and their work ethic, and I really liked that.”
Sandoval was the Daily Bulletin runner of the year and a first-team runner for The Sun last cross country season when she finished fourth overall in Division II at the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno. She completed the course with a time of 17 minutes, 32.8 seconds.
Sandoval said she had several scholarship offers, but wanted a full scholarship, which many of them were not willing to give. In the end, it was between San Jose State and Azusa Pacific.
“I know I’m going to need to get faster, I want to run three miles in the 16s,” she said. “So I’ll be OK when I run the longer distances in college.”
Not only does she expect to run cross country for the Spartans, she said she said in track she could run the 5,000 meter, 10,000 meter and/or 3,000 meter steeplechase.
The CIF-SS cross country Finals at Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College. Top 7 teams plus up to 5 individuals advance to CIF State Championships.
Here are race times with San Bernardino County teams entered:
Race 1: Division 3 girls, 7:45 a.m.
Stefani Gaskell, Sultana (won heat last week)
Race 2: Division 4 girls, 8:05 a.m.
Race 3: Division 3 boys, 8:25 a.m.
Bloomington (Ranked No. 8 in CIF-SS)
Sultana (No. 12 in CIF-SS)
Race 4: Division 4 boys, 8:45 a.m.
Yucca Valley (No. 8 in CIF-SS)
Spencer Walton, Twentynine Palms
Race 5: Division 5 girls, 9:05 a.m.
Mikayla Mays, Upland Christian
Race 6: Division 1 boys, 9:25 a.m.
Rancho Cucamonga (No. 13 in CIF-SS)
Peter Torres, Chino Hills
Race 7: Division 2 girls, 9:45 a.m.
Serrano (No. 2 in CIF-SS)
Claire Graves, Citrus Valley (won Prelims heat last week)
Race 8: Division 5 boys, 10:05 a.m.
Western Christian (No. 13 in CIF-SS)
Race 9: Division 1 girls, 10:25 a.m.
Yucaipa (No. 4 in CIF-SS)
Sarah Holloway, Los Osos
Jennifer Sandoval, Summit (No. 3 in her Prelims heat last week)
Race 10: Division 2 boys, 10:45 a.m.
Steven Khan, Ayala
I haven’t posted other league finals results on the blog, but I’ve written stories about several of them.
For Mojave River League, I’m not writing a story, so here are just the results. First the girls, where Serrano’s team and Stevie Gaskell of Sultana have the best chance to go to state. On the boys side, Sultana dethroned defending league champ Serrano.
The latest CIF-SS cross country rankings:
Many of the top San Bernardino cross country teams will be to the Woodbridge Invitational at Orange County Great Park.
Unlike most invitationals, Woodbridge is run in the late afternoon and evening, featuring the girls rated and girls sweepstakes races at 8:54 and 9:34 p.m. and the boys rated and boys sweepstakes races at 9:14 and 9:54 p.m.
Chino Hills, Serrano and Yucaipa are in the boys rated race while Ayala, Bloomington, Colony and Rancho Cucamonga are in the boys sweepstakes.
Girls rated teams include Chino Hills, Colony, and Rancho Cucamonga, while girls sweepstakes teams include Ayala and Serrano.
The Serrano girls are currently ranked second in CIF-SS Division 2, but will not have a chance to compete against No. 1 Saugus in the meet. However, a good showing, including facing CIF-SS Division 1 No. 1 Temecula Great Oak, could move the Diamondbacks up to No. 1.
The county will also be represented by three girls running as individuals in the sweepstakes race: Sultana’s Stefani Gaskell, Citrus Valley’s Claire Graves and Summit’s Jennifer Sandoval.
If you’re in San Bernardino County and a cross country fan, you know the Serrano girls cross country team has annually been one of the best teams in the county.
Now, others in the country are learning that.
Coach Ken Quinn said New Balance contacted him recently and told thim that with the Serrano girls one of the top teams in the country (currently ranked No. 2 in the state in Division 2), they are going to be sponsored by New Balance. That means a bunch of new gear, including Serrano-designed uniforms.
Quinn said the Woodbridge Invitational on Sept. 19, is supposed to be the meet where they debut the New Balance stuff. That’s because Woodbridge is one of the top early-season meets in the CIF-Southern Section. Hopefully, we’ll get pictures of the uniforms to post here before Woodbridge.
“I’d always thought about what it would be like to be one of those teams that gets sponsored,” Quinn said. “Now we’re one of those teams.”
Above, Claire Graves, now a junior at Citrus Valley talks about winning her race in the last Yucaipa Invitational, two years ago.
In speaking with Yucaipa cross country coach Jason Carney, I found out that for the second straight year, the Yucaipa Invitational, one of the better invitationals in San Bernardino County annually, will not be held.
Traditionally, it was held around the first Saturday in October. Last year it was cancelled because construction in the hills next to Yucaipa High where the course has been made it impossible to run an invitational.
This year, it’s the same issue. Last year, they had originally scheduled the invitational before telling teams they had to cancel. This year, they didn’t even schedule it. And Carney doesn’t plan on having it back.
Once a meet has been cancelled for two years, it’s hard to get those teams back. An initial concern was how would the program make up for the funds the Invitational brought? As it turned out, just fine, he said. They had a couple of more fundraisers, and were not lacking in money. The invitational weekend is a stressful one for Carney and he’d just as soon not have it back. At least, he won’t be spearheading the drive to bring it back. He didn’t rule out others trying to bring it back.
As was the case last year, Yucaipa will still host Citrus Belt League finals, but at the Regional Park.
Claire Graves of Citrus Valley took first place in the Cerritos Invitational with a time of 16 minutes and 57 seconds.
It was a familiar setting for Graves, who competed in the event last year and finished second, according to coach Bryan Haddock.
“I was happy with my performance even though, I didn’t run as fast as last year,” Graves said. “We trained through this race to focus on Woodbridge.”
Citrus Valley will compete in the Woodbridge Invite on Sept. 19.
Emily Virtue of Burroughs provided competition for Graves during the Cerritos Invite. She would go on to finish second with a time of 17:02.
“It was a nice push having her there,” Graves added. “She is great competition.”
Serrano would go on to win the overall event on the girls side, led by its top finisher Country Brenner, who took third overall.
Carissa Gomez finished 21st overall, second among Citrus Valley girls, following a time of 18:50 while Becca Loflin finished in 34th place with a time of 19:12. It was a personal best for both on the course.
The two-time All-Sun Cross Country Runner of the year and two-time CIF State cross country champion has decided where he will run in college.
Big Bear senior Caleb Webb signed his National Letter of Intent last week to run at the University of Portland.
“It’s a smaller school and I come from a small town,” Webb said. “It felt like the right place. It’s nice to get this off my back.”
Webb said he was deciding between Portland and Colorado as to where he would sign.
“Caleb may be the most significant recruit we have ever signed,” Portland coach Rob Conner in a press release. “He is a tremendous student and extremely serious runner. Very few high school runners are ready to make an impact at the college level as freshmen but Caleb is the kind of talent that will. I couldn’t be more excited to have him joining us. … His range is incredible but we think he will lean toward the longer distances,”
Webb recently set a school record by running a time of 8 minutes, 52.17 seconds in the 3200 meters, surpassing the record of 8:55 set by Olympic marathoner and fellow Big Bear native Ryan Hall.
2014 Sunkist All-League Cross Country
All league boys
Federico Juarez, Bloomington
Marcos Guillen, Fontana
Gerardo Vazquez, Bloomington
Alejandro Mariscal, Bloomington
Christian Vera, Bloomington
Angel Parga, Bloomington
Osar Saavedra, Grand Terrace
Alex Diaz, Bloomington
Jared Baca, Grand Terrace
Alejandro Jimenez, Bloomington
All league girls:
Jennifer Sandoval, Summit
Michelle Pineda, Fontana
Krystal Padilla, Kaiser
Sinai Martinez, Fontana
Nissa Inzunza, Grand Terrace
Cecilia Magana, Bloomington
Lauren Silvey, Summit
Mirella Rodriguez, Fontana
Celine Montano, Grand Terrace
Daisy Lopez, Kaiser