As a runner in the state of California the CIF State Championship is the pinnacle of the cross country season. It sits at the end of the schedule as the ultimate goal, the height of the season. It is one of the most elite races in the nation that features some of the country’s best runners. This Saturday, two of them are Valley Christian’s Emily Blaha and Morgan Lira.
As winter seems to have ascended upon us, the workouts have been heating up. “The girls have been very focused and with the cooler temperatures they are running better than they have all year,” said Coach Small. “Our hope is to bring that same focus and determination into the race this Saturday.”
Earlier this season the team previewed the Woodward Park State Championship course at the Clovis Invitational. Morgan Lira won the race in a personal best time of 18:45, improving on last season’s State Meet performance where she finished 31st in 18:51. Emily Blaha was coming off of a half marathon just 6 days prior and still managed to finish just 8 seconds off of her all-time best at the Clovis invitational where she finished in 19:40. Her life-time best came at the 2008 State Championship where she finished in 19:32, which is currently #5 all-time for the Warriors. Blaha and Lira look to build upon their performances and carry this momentum into the State Championship.
Blaha becomes only the third individual in school history to have four State Championship appearances, and this will mark Lira’s third consecutive trip.
The Warriors compete in the Girls Division 3 at 9:30 am.