It was the big one. The race for all the marbles. 28 schools competed to see who would become the kings of the state.
The LPC Hawks men’s cross country team was in Fresno for the state championship.
The result was not what everyone at LPC had hoped for, they finished in 19th place overall. The meet took place on Nov. 17.
In an upset, Sacramento’s American River College took first overall and beat out the very stiff competition from southern California.
For LPC, the 19th place finish is tied for their best finish at a state meet. They were 5th best among all northern California schools. Head coach Steve Navarro would have liked to have a better showing, but he is still proud of his runners.
“It was the best of the best running out there, all the schools there were very good,” Navarro said. “Overall I’m proud of the hard work these guys did to get here.”
The Hawks could have finished with a better showing, but about 250 meters into the race, star runner Jesse Chestnut took a hard fall which cost the team valuable seconds.
Assistant coach Geoff Smyth felt Chestnut was never able to fully recover from the fall in the race.
“Physically and mentally he lost contact with the rest of the team, and never really recovered,” Smyth said.
Even with the fall that Chestnut took, coach Navarro gives credit to Chestnut for not giving up and finishing the race.
“Just to finish after having a bruise on his leg and being cut up, he could have easily just given up,” Navarro said. “I’m proud of him for finishing the way he did.”
For Chestnut it was not the way he wanted to end the season. After he came in first at the Toro Park Invitational back in October, he had an up and down end of the season.
“My performance did not go as well as I would have liked to end the year,” Chestnut said.
The Hawks are not state champions. Still, even with this finish, standouts Jesse Chestnut and Arthur Ruvalcaba definitely had a good enough season to garner attention from four year schools.
“Arthur and Jesse have both been offered scholarships from St. Mary’s University and San Francisco State,” Navarro said. “It’s good to see them getting rewarded.”
Next up for Navarro is track and field.
Workouts begin in late January and anybody interested in joining can contact coach Steve Navarro at firstname.lastname@example.org or coach Kyle Robinson at email@example.com