Racing to Recognition


After a season of extremely hard work, Baldwin Park High School’s Cross Country team had the opportunity to represent at CIF and made it to state championships once again through their achievements.

“Overall, I felt like we did good but I also feel like we could’ve done better,” stated junior Adrian Hernandez, who raced at the state meet. “All I could say to the team is that I’m proud of them and all the work they put in during [the] season.”

picOn Saturday, November 12, CIF Southern Section was hosted at Riverside City Cross Country Course, where runners from Division 2, 3, and 5 competed in the preliminaries and finals. Representing the Braves were Jose Melchor, Adrian Hernandez, Edgar Nuñez, Eduardo De Paz, Jose Campos, Victor Montes, and Luis Cabrera.

In the preliminaries, two groups of 24 schools competed in heats. The top twelve teams of each heat then moved to the CIF Finals. From there, the top seven schools qualified to compete at the state meet.

The Baldwin Park Braves placed 4th in the CIF Finals, placing them well in a qualified spot for the state meet. During one of these races, freshman Eduardo De Paz broke 16 minutes in a 3 mile race, an outstanding achievement.

“It’s very uncommon to break it as a freshman,” commented captain Jose Melchor, who is actually the only other runner on the team who was able to achieve this time as a freshman. He admits that what De Paz achieved was “insane.”

On Saturday, November 26, a different team of Braves represented Baldwin Park at Woodward Park in Fresno to compete in the state championships. This time, the Braves were Jose Melchor, Adrian Hernandez, Edgar Nuñez, Anthony Garcia, Eduardo De Paz, Victor Montes, and Huong Ho.

At the end of the day, the Braves placed 4th once again, barely missing the qualification to move further on in CIF. However, the Braves showed that they were continuously improving, since they beat two schools, Brea Olinda and Paso Robles, in this meet that they had lost to in finals.

“Could not be more proud of these boys for finishing off the season so strong,” tweeted Coach Brandon Ortiz on the same day of the meet. “Top 4 back to back years and the future is so bright for them.”

Many thanks to BPHS senior and Boys’ Cross Country Captain, Jose Melchor, for helping in part to write this article.

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