Central Section 2019 XC Season In Review

Corie Smith heads for home in leading Buchanan to the State Division I title. (Credit: Patrick Corsinita)


With senior Corie Smith running 17-flat in her final race on her home Woodward Park course and three freshmen coming up huge, Coach Brian Weaver's girls team at Buchanan pulled off the biggest stunner of the 2019 CIF-State Championships in derailing Great Oak's winning streak. 

With Smith placing second, freshman Sydney Sundgren fourth among scoring runners, and freshman Grace Hutchison adding another 10 points, Coach Weaver's girls were sitting at 16 points through three runners. Great Oak, meanwhile, was at 30. The Wolfpack would make up 10 points over the final two runners but it wouldn't be enough to extend their Division I winning streak to an eighth consecutive season as Buchanan earned a four-point victory. 

While it was generally considered an upset by expectation standards, it certainly wasn't stunning that Buchanan would pull it off. The two teams had split earlier meetings, with Buchanan winning at Woodbridge (winning a tiebreaker while Great Oak placed third), and Great Oak winning at the Clovis Invitational on the Woodward Park State Meet course. 

Smith concluded her standout prep XC career placing 12th at Nike Cross Nationals as the No. 2 girl from California behind on Carlie Dorostkar of San Diego's Canyon Crest Academy, the State Division I champion. On her final journey, Smith won her first nine races, including Woodbridge for a second time, Clovis, Bella Vista for a second time, and Central Section for a third time. In three trips to the State Final, she placed fourth, first and second, missing her junior year race because of illness.  

The performance of Smith and the Buchanan girls was not the only highlight for the Central Section at the State Meet. 

Clovis North's boys placed sixth in Division I led by senior Isaiah Galindo, who placed second to Matt Strangio of Jesuit (SJ) while running 15:00.50 for the 5K trek. Also scoring high for Clovis North were two other seniors, Josh Ochoa, who was 27th in scoring, and Nick Carter, who was 32nd. 

The CS had six other top-10 finishers at the State Meet:

Below you will find list of top CS finishers at the State Meet, followed by links to section finals coverage and section-specific 3-mile and 5K rankings.


Jessica Valles (1719) is a three-time CS champion who placed eighth in D-III. (Credit: DeAnna Turner)


Boys in the top 25

2Isaiah Galindo12Clovis North (CS)15:00.502
10Damian Gavilan12Paso Robles High (CS)15:13.100
13Ethan Jones12Liberty HS Bakersfield (CS)15:20.400
20Kelly Brewer12Buchanan High School (CS)15:26.9014

Girls in the top 25

2Corie Smith12Buchanan High School (CS)17:00.002
6Sydney Sundgren9Buchanan High School (CS)17:45.704
7Miliana Perez10Clovis North (CS)17:49.000
11Erica Nyberg9Clovis East (CS)17:55.300
14Grace Hutchison9Buchanan High School (CS)18:02.9010
15Taylor Jones9Arroyo Grande High (CS)18:05.2011
21Dariana Miramontes12Madera South (CS)18:10.600


Boys in the top 25

11Jacob Yagers11Highland High Bakersfield (CS)15:18.300
16Alex Cuevas12Ridgeview High (CS)15:28.0013

Girls in the top 25

6Unique Ford12Madera High School (CS)17:43.500
23Grace Rubio11San Luis Obispo High (CS)18:13.5018


Boys in the top 25

4Abel Teffra12Central High School (CS)15:33.203

Girls in the top 25

8Jessica Valles12Sunnyside High (CS)18:11.000


Boys in the top 25


Girls in the top 25

10Rachel Fitt12Bishop Union High School (CS)18:17.100
15Sierra Burror11Bishop Union High School (CS)18:29.300
20Rhiannon Walker9Fresno High (CS)18:43.5015


Boys in the top 25

Girls in the top 25
18Jordyn Harper12Mammoth High (CS)19:15.7014