Woodward Park, Fresno - The California State Championship features the top individuals and teams from around the state in what is arguably the fastest and deepest cross country race in the nation. That talent was on display in the Girls Division III race as nearly 150 runners took the race out a blistering pace, all coming by the mile under six minutes. Valley Christian's Ashley Lara was one of those pushing her limits and gambling with the fast pace opening in 5:55. It was uncharted territory for the sophomore who was running in her second State Meet but she held on to finish in 20:28 in 119th, respectably.
Lara passed through half way in 9:20, about 20 seconds faster than her split earlier in the season and was still under her personal best pace at two miles splitting 13:08 for the rolling uphill mile. The fast start then took it's toll, still Lara fought off competitors running under seven minutes for the challenging last mile.
"The end result wasn't the race she was hoping for but when racing in the State Championship sometimes you need to gamble and see what you are capable of," Coach Small said of Lara's race. "We are here to race the best and she went for it, putting it all out there and we couldn't be more proud of her."
Lara finished 10 seconds off of her personal best time run at the Clovis Invitational earlier in the year but bettered her time at the State Meet last season. She closes out an outstanding season that saw her finish the top runner for the Warriors four times. She was the top finisher at the Stanford and Clovis Invitationals in addition to the CCS Championship where her 7th place finish earned her All-CCS honors. Her breakthrough performance at CCS stands as the 4th fastest time in school history.
Full Results: CLICK HERE