FRESNO — Corona del Mar High Coach Bill Sumner said he sat and listened to his cross country runners as they talked about the steps they need to take in order to improve.
Sumner took mental notes at a restaurant table, doing his best to remember the new goals set after competing in the CIF State Championships Saturday.
He says he wants to remind his runners what they said and hold them to it as the months and days draw closer to next season.
The CdM boys' and girls' teams want to get back to Woodward Park in Fresno. The girls are eager after placing fifth in Division III, their worst finish in eight years. The CdM girls were vying for their third straight CIF state title. They had won four of the previous five state titles and their seven overall titles had tied them for the most in state history.
The CdM boys, making their first state meet appearance since 2007, finished 12th.
With the boys' and girls' finishes Saturday, Sumner said he found reason to celebrate and, so, they went to a nearby restaurant.
"We do so well year-in and year-out that you take it for granted," Sumner said in a telephone interview. "You get used to performing the way we perform and you get a little spoiled. This is a fabulous performance."
Junior Ashlee Powers led the way for CdM. She earned all-state honors, finishing 10th in 18 minutes, 11 seconds on the 5K course. It was quite an improvement from last year for Powers, who was the Sea Kings' sixth runner and struggled with shin splints for most of the season.
This year was a battle, too, as she had to make up ground after the first mile when she was behind at least 20 runners, Sumner said.
"It was really fast, a lot faster than I expected," Powers said.
Powers believes the experience will help her. She expects her teammates to also come back stronger. Sumner brought five alternates for the girls' team and four alternates for the boys' squad so that more runners could get the feel of what it's like to compete at the state meet.
"Out of all our runners, only two had state experience — Ashlee Powers and Kristen Rivera," Sumner said.
The CdM girls had just one senior runner. Devon Hoppe finished 42nd in 19:07.
Rivera, a junior, was the Sea Kings' third runner, finishing 61st in 19:21, the same time as freshman Ellen Naruse, who was 62nd. Junior Megan Zwerling was 77th in 19:35, followed by sophomore Shelby Perez, 88th in 19:50, and sophomore Darcie Marshall, 114th in 20:16.
Campolindo won Division III with 67 points, Palos Verdes was second with 126, Woodbridge was third with 154 and Cathedral Catholic was fourth with 169. Corona del Mar had 187 points.
Carrie Verdon of Campolindo was the individual champion, topping the field in 17:15.
Orange Lutheran's Ava Kent, a Costa Mesa resident competing as an individual, finished 30th in 18:54.
Junior Blake Myers led the CdM boys, coming in 38th in 16:03. Senior Austin Barvin was right behind him in 40th in 16:04. Senior Alexander Turney finished 67th in 16:19, senior Derek Satterfield was 100th in 16:39, senior Peter Morris was 118th in 16:55, sophomore Reid Meckler was 124th in 16:58 and senior Zachary Asdourian was 125th in 16:58 for the Sea Kings.
St. John Bosco won Division III.
South Pasadena senior Samuel Pons was the individual champ in 15:00.
— From staff reports