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Cross Country Standout Prado Advances To State
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Freshman varsity girls cross country runner Karina Prado qualified for the State Cross Country Championships, finishing sixth at the Section finals. The State Meet is Nov. 26. Photo Contributed

School history was made at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Cross Country Championships this past weekend, as Oakdale freshman Karina Prado qualified to advance to the CIF State Cross Country Championship.

“It is believed that this is the very first cross country runner from Oakdale, male or female, to qualify to the state championships, we are still trying to verify this,” said coach Guy Fowler at The Leader’s sports presstime.

On Saturday, Nov. 12 the freshman placed sixth overall in the five kilometer race to punch her ticket to the State Cross Country Meet. Prado blazed her way through the rugged trail in an impressive time of 19:48.

“We are really excited for Karina. We knew she had a chance and we told her to move two places from her sub-section results, tenth and she would have a really good shot, then she went out and ran a season’s best time and moved up four places,” Fowler explained. “What is amazing was as soon as she was done she went out and started to root for her teammates and all other runners; she is just remarkable.”

With the sixth place finish, Prado will race at Fresno’s Woodward Park on Saturday, Nov. 26 in the CIF State Cross Country Championship. Prado’s division has a scheduled start time of 1:20 p.m.

As a team the Oakdale varsity girls finished eighth overall. Freshman Kayden Legan placed 25th overall (21:27) and freshman Kendra Branch (22:35) placed 45th. Oakdale’s varsity boys also finished eighth overall on the day. Notable runners included junior Cade Middaugh (18:13) placing 39th, junior Russell Pabalan (18:24) finished 44th and senior Justin Crescenti closed out his high school career with a 52nd overall finish at 18:52.

“Really pleased with both the boys and girls overall finishes. The boys raced well and Cade Middaugh busted out a season’s best; he was pumped and ready to go run. The girls team was just six points out of sixth place,” noted Fowler. “Both teams are graduating one senior and should be here again next year. The girls can be in the running for getting a qualifying team spot to state next year.”