There was a point earlier this season when Spencer Keith said he was completing nine workouts each week.
There were times when the Corona del Mar High senior cross-country runner trained at 5:40 in the morning and then go at it again in the afternoon. Some people asked him if he was crazy. He said he just wanted to get stronger and make the most of his final season with the Sea Kings.
"I got really tired at some points, but I had to hope it would pay off in the end," Keith said during a telephone interview Saturday. "And it did, I guess."
Keith saw his work pay off during the CIF Southern Section Championships at Mt. San Antonio College. He finished 11th in Division 3 in 15 minutes, 15 seconds, breaking the school course record that he tied last week. He was the only Newport-Mesa area runner to advance to next week's state championships at Fresno's Woodward Park.
"It's pretty cool," Keith said of breaking the school record. "It's exciting."
Keith said he has never been to Fresno. He's looking forward to making his state debut next week.
He advanced by lowering his time from last week, when he finished in 15:24, which tied the school course record set by Brian Slingsby in 1994.
Keith said he knew he had to break the record Saturday in order to have a shot to reach the state meet.
Keith said he started out his race faster than last week. He said it was one of his fastest starts of the season, as he sped up to be among the top 10 early in the race.
Indio senior David Luna won the Division 3 race in 14:33.
Costa Mesa senior Brett Bermudez finished 11th in Division 4 in a personal-best 15:55 and missed advancing to the state meet by one spot.
Big Bear junior Caleb Webb won the boys' Division 4 race in 14:48.
Costa Mesa junior Anuare Magana finished 23rd in 16:11, a personal record.
The Newport Harbor girls' team finished 11th in Division 2. Simi Valley won the Division 2 title, led by senior Sarah Baxter (16:21).
Junior Erin Barth led the Sailors, finishing 21st in 18:10. Sophomore Emily Bacon (35th in 18:31), senior Ashley Ima (70th in 19:20), senior Katelyn Mead (80th in 19:34), senior Leah Van Dyke (89th in 19:45), sophomore Grace Clemence (112th in 20:34) and sophomore Holly Clemence (116th in 20:43) also competed for Newport Harbor.
The Corona del Mar girls' team finished 10th in the Division 3 race that Palos Verdes won.
Northwood senior Bethan Knights won the Division 3 race in 16:39.
Freshman Raquel Powers led the Sea Kings, as she finished in 18th in 18:36. Sophomore Lilly Schmidt (35th in 19:02), junior Elin Wolker (53rd in 19:25), sophomore Jacqueline Choe (61st in 19:40), senior Ellen Naruse (73rd in 19:51), junior Tess St. Geme (78th in 20:03) and junior Kirsten Hansen (80th in 20:07) also competed for CdM.
The Sage Hill girls' team finished 15th in the Division 5 race that Flintridge Prep won. Freshman Julia Lowe led the Lightning, finishing in 29th in 20:31. Junior Brittany Andressoo (56th in 21:42), freshman Julia Dupuis (78th in 22:22), junior Brittany Murphy (84th in 22:45), junior Rebecca Fudge (92nd in 23:24) and junior Claire Goul (105th in 24:37) also competed for Sage Hill.
The Sage Hill boys' team finished 16th in the Division 5 race that Flintridge Prep won.
Junior Patrick Hynes led the Lightning, finishing in 34th in 17:08. Sophomore Jacob Diaz (64th in 17:58), junior Brian Slaughter (71st in 18:09), sophomore Calvin Shimano (81st in 18:24), freshman Matt Warden (85th in 18:31) and junior Cameron Knollenberg (87th in 18:32) also competed for Sage Hill.
— From staff reports