In his first full season of competing in cross-country, Cristian Martinez not only finished 15th among D IV boys in the CIF State Cross Country Championships, but finished 138th in the state out of 1,004 runners – and he didn’t even get to complete his pre-race routine, which includes, among other rituals, taking a bath in Epsom salts.
The hotel that Martinez, a senior at Liberty Ranch, stayed at the night before the state meet, which took place in Fresno at Woodward Park, ended up having a shower stall and no bathtub, and though he contemplated a way he could fit in his ritual, it did not happen – still, he managed to finish the race in 15:51 after passing up several runners near the end of the race and finished strong.
Martinez, who had a break from school last week, also managed to get time off from work to train for the race, which gave him more time to train with Liberty Ranch cross-country coach Brian Robinson for his first appearance at state in his final year of competing.
“His time was great. Very respectable time, very respectable placing. That’s the most I got to spend with him, two days him and I,” Robinson said of preparing for the race. “It was perfect temperatures for the meet.”
The finish may not have been what Martinez wanted initially, but was a satisfying time, Robinson commented.
“I think both him and myself both think he could have done a little better. We were talking about his strategy but never being in that race before was a little hard to (prepare for everything),” said Robinson. “It’s a very big meet and, if you haven’t been in that situation before, it can be intimidating.”
Martinez contemplated competing in the Foothill Cross-Country Championships, which take place this weekend, but will instead focus on soccer with his Hawk teammates and will also return to running in the spring, with a focus on reaching state for track before looking ahead to competing in college.
“He’s a really good kid, he’s got himself focused now with college,” Robinson said.
Among other divisions individually, senior Matt Strangio of Jesuit repeated as the D I State Champion with an all-time third-best divisional time of 14:44. Senior Nico Young from Newbury Park repeated as the DII boys State Champion with a second-fastest all-time male course mark of 14:29.
Senior Carlie Dorostkar of Canyon Crest won the DI title with a seventh-best all-time female course mark of 16:46. Sophomore Riley Chamberlain of Del Oro repeated as the DIII State Champion with an all-time third-best division mark of 17:16. Anthony Grover became just the fourth male runner all-time to win a third consecutive State crown with a time of 15:04 in the boys DIV Championship. In girls team action Buchanan won their second State Championship with an all-time fifth-best DI time of 89:45. Newbury Park won their first State Championship with an all-time fifth-best DII time of 90:52. Campolindo won their fifth State title (second consecutive) with an all-time 10th-best DIII time of 93:17. Sage Creek repeated as the DIV Champions with an all-time divisional top time of 90:59, while Lick Wilmerding won their second consecutive State crown with an all-time fourth-best DV time of 96:21. On the team side for the boys, Great Oak claimed their sixth consecutive team title with an all-time third best DI time of 76:23. Newbury Park repeated as the DII State Champions with an all-time best course time of 75:27. Campolindo won their first state title with an all-time third-best DIII score of 47, while Viewpoint won their first state crown with an all-time seventh-best DV time of 82:14. Foothill Tech won their second state championship with an all-time second-best DIV time of 80:00.