Cross-country: Anzar runners earn experience at state meet

Diego Leon takes first at a race earlier this year.

For the first time in two years, the Hawks sent two runners to the CIF State Cross-country championships Saturday. Diego Leon and Diego Avila didn’t compete for a championship in Fresno, but the two Hawks developed experience.
Leon, who participated in the state championship in 2009 with the entire Anzar boys team, finished in 89th place with a time of 18:02. Compared with his time two years earlier, Leon took a minute off of his time.
At his first state championship, sophomore Avila struggled to stay with his teammate and finished in 104th place with a time of 18:14.
It was a big improvement for the two-year runner. Last year, Avila struggled to run under 21 minutes at the CCS championship. This year, Avila finished with a time of 17:20.
“They both improved a lot from last year,” head coach Danny Lowell said. “All of their times have decreased.”
And Lowell attributes the increase speed to off-season training and hard work, he said. With the work ethic and results, the decreased times could spread around the team next year.
“When the team sees what they did, it makes them want to work harder,” he said. “They make the whole team faster.”
And regardless of the final times in Fresno on Saturday, Lowell was proud of the season-long improvement from his two best runners.
“This is definitely a good experience to run at that level,” Lowell said. “There will be a commitment to do better next year.”

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