Trojan runners race to state

Cadence Youngman is 21st out of 204 runners with a time of 19:19 at the Central Park Invitational in Huntington Beach Oct. 5. 

YUCCA VALLEY — Cadence Youngman and Elijah Ocegueda will represent Yucca Valley High School in Fresno this weekend at the Cross Country State Championships.

Youngman and the boys cross country team traveled to the CIF Finals in Riverside last weekend after qualifying in the semi-finals earlier this month.

Youngman blasted her way to a ninth place finish on Saturday with a time of 18:13, beating the high schools record by 1:12.  Her outstanding performace earned her ALL-CIF honors and a spot in the state championship. Youngman is the 7th Trojan girl in history to earn All-CIF Honors and the third Lady Trojan to medal.  

“It was a magnificent performance given the fact she only has a year and a half of experience running,” said head coach Jay Stepp. “Very rarely do you see someone make those kinds of improvements in that short amount of time. Most runners will spend their entire high school career hoping to get where she is now.”

After Youngman got the day started in the right direction, the boys towed the line looking to secure a spot in the state championships.  

Ocegueda quickly jumped out with the leaders and blazed around the course in 15:38, just missing Yucca Valley’s course record by four seconds. He placed 14th in the race and earned a trip to the state championships. His effort also earned him All-CIF Honors and he became the third Trojan boy to medal.  

The rest of Oceguedas team however, faced unforeseen challenges in the race and will not be continuing on to the state championship. 

“Three of the seven guys were unable to practice all week and didn’t know if they would run on Saturday,” Stepp said. “A fourth runner had a severe cough that kept him from fully being able to train during the week.”

Following Ocegueda, Alan Campos was next to cross the line in 56th place with a time of 16:29.  Andy Tamayo was next in 82nd with a time of 16:46.  Blake Stewart followed him in 106th with a time of 17:08 and Stephen Goddard rounded out the scoring in 150th with a time of 18:09. The Trojans finished the race in 16th place, just shy of the tope 14 teams who will move on to state.

Youngman and Ocegueda will travel to Fresno on Saturday, Nov. 30, for the Cross Country State Championship. This will be their final race of the season.

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