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Alejandro Garcia hungry for more success
Alejandro Garcia cemented his place in Ceres High School cross country history as a junior when he ended a 10-year drought with a CIF State Meet appearance.

"I did surprise myself but at the same time, I knew everything I put into it got me to where I got," he said. "If I don't make it this season, it would be pretty disappointing. It would be a shock."

Barring injury, Garcia should be able to earn a return trip to state.

"I think it will be easier to make it this year because most of my competition (Weston Ranch's Roberto Alvarez and Sonora's John Glick) graduated," said Alejandro, who also has his sights set on an undefeated Valley Oak League season. "My goal is to go under 15:45. I need to have someone to push me and stay healthy."

Garcia placed 77th in a field of 201 at the Division III varsity boys state competition in Fresno last year. He completed Woodward Park's three-mile course in a personal-best 16 minutes, 29 seconds.

"My goal is to rank top 10 this time," Alejandro said. "I know the course now."

Garcia will also be seeking improvement at the section, sub-section and league championships. He placed fifth, third and second, respectively.

Alejandro successfully defended his Stanislaus County Super Cross Country Invitational title on Sept. 16 at Hughson High School.

Garcia stayed busy during the offseason. Alejandro trained so hard in 2008 he developed shin splints twice.

"I've had a steady schedule of mileage and sprints," he said. "I didn't go crazy as last summer."

Garcia fulfilled his personal goal for the 2008 season, becoming the first Bulldog runner to advance to state in a decade.

Alejandro's hungry for more success. He won't be satisfied until he makes history again.

"I love the thrill of competition," said Garcia, who plans to run for Modesto Junior College following graduation. "I'd rather win by one second instead of two minutes."