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Ceres youngster competes at National meet
Andrew Guardado and his Central Valley Roadrunner youth track and field teammates felt a sense of accomplishment after completing their 4x800 relay race at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships last Wednesday in Sacramento.

Guardado, Andrew Raspo, Caleb Wolterstorff and Trevor Crippen finished 12th overall in the Midget (11-12) division.

"I'm really happy with what I did," he said. "Everyone ran their best. Our goal was to break 11 minutes. We figured it was our last race. We put all of our guts into it. We had nothing to lose."

Guardado, Raspo, Wolterstorff and Crippen posted a season-best time of 10:57.91 in the 4x800 relay. They improved by 10 seconds.

"We pushed the kids hard all season," head coach Carl Bryant said. "They responded well. They rose to the challenge."

Guardado finished the first leg in 2:37. His previous-best split was 2:41.

"I was definitely nervous before the race," he said. "Once you start running, it goes away."

Guardado was part of the Roadrunners' 4x800 midget boys relay team that placed 14th (11:31.55) at the 2009 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships.

Andrew got a late start to the 2010 season.

He returned for his second year of competition after recovering from pneumonia.

"I knew I could do it," said Guardado, who was sidelined for a couple of meets.

Andrew will continue his track and field career with the Roadrunners next summer.

"I'm not going to set my expectations too high because I'm stepping up to another age group," he said. "It's going to be a lot tougher."

Guardado lives in Ceres. He entered the seventh grade at Vanguard Preparatory Academy in Empire this week.