Kern County runners represent, Burroughs' Ortiz medals at state cross-country championships

Nov. 26—The most successful Kern County school at the CIF State Cross Country Championships in Fresno Saturday hailed from the Southern Section.

In Division IV action, Burroughs sophomore Zion Ortiz came in eighth to medal with a time of 15 minutes, 31.5 seconds on Woodward Park's 5,000-meter course, leading the Burros' boys squad to a 14th-place finish. He nearly matched his personal record of 15:04.9 as the Southern Section runner-up a week earlier. Schoolmate Eve Washburn, a freshman, also performed well on the girls side, competing as an individual and coming in 44th with a time of 19:21.2.

Ricardo Guerrero (17:19.4) of Delano placed 106th in D-IV, just one spot and three seconds ahead of Burroughs sophomore Ryan Morrison. Taft's Kade Fetterman (17:37.2) came in 122nd. Fellow Wildcat Maya Katz finished 123rd in the girls competition with a time of 21:14.3.

A pair of Kern County girls cross-country squads, Independence and Wasco, represented the Central Section in Division III, but finished in 22nd and 24th of 25 teams, respectively. Elena Baltazar (19:14.1) led the Falcons with a 40th-place result, while Nieves Alvarez (19:56.8) paced the Tigers at 77th. Between them was the lone East High attendee, Leslie Aquino (19:34.4), who came in 57th. Natalie Flores of Independence, who had finished second at the section championships on Nov. 17, ended up two seconds behind Alvarez in 80th.

Foothill represented Bakersfield in the D-III boys race, but the Trojans finished 25th, with their best showing coming from Ishmael Nungaray (108th, 17:09.0).

In Division II action, Frontier's Jacob Perez (16:13.4) placed 59th, ahead of Atzin Anguiano of Shafter (102nd, 16:43.8).

Meanwhile, the Highland girls cross-country team finished 24th, with Lianna Guerra leading the Scots at 45th overall (19:08.7). Junior Mia Torrecillas, the section D-II champion, was in third place after one mile but did not finish. Last year, she placed seventh in the state with a time of 18:10.2, which would have been good for 11th this year; even Torrecillas' personal best would still have put her in second because Ventura sophomore Sadie Engelhardt (16:57.9) posted the third-best time in D-II history.

Joining the Highland girls in Division II action were Liberty juniors Aubrey Thompson (59th, 19:24.1) and Nicole Bridges (126th, 20:30.1), plus Frontier junior Abby Trujillo (143rd, 20:47.1).

Karly Champness (21:47.2) came in 127th for Bakersfield Christian down in D-V.

Reporter Henry Greenstein can be reached at 661-395-7374. Follow him on Twitter: @HenryGreenstein.