By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Garcia moves on to state
The drought is over.

Last Saturday, Alejandro Garcia became the first Ceres High athlete to qualify for state in varsity boys' cross country since Casey Rhea went in 1998.

"I'm speechless," he said. "It still hasn't hit me yet."

It took a maximum effort to accomplish the feat. The junior advanced after finishing fifth overall in 17 minutes, 12 seconds on Folsom's Willow Hill course at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III meet.

"He was shaking after the race," Bulldogs first-year head coach Natalie Alvarez said. "He was on the verge of passing out."

"I was dizzy," Garcia said. "I was having trouble walking. Weston Ranch's coach said my sugar level was probably down."

Garcia attributed part of his success to stiff league competition. Weston Ranch's Roberto Alvarez (first place, 16:45) and Sonora's John Glick (second, 16:57) finished ahead of Alejandro at the section race.

"We pushed each other," he said.

Garcia blossomed into one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's top runners in just his second year in the sport. Alejandro captured section and sub-section titles at the sophomore level last season.

"I'm very proud of him," Alvarez said.

"He worked hard for it."

Alejandro suffered shin splints three times, including twice in the summer and once during the regular season.

"The effort I put in this year was crazy," Garcia said. "I pushed myself past my limit. I had to go through some pain but I think it was worth it."

Alejandro will participate in the CIF State Championships on Nov. 29 at Woodward Park in Fresno. Garcia has high hopes.

"My goal is to beat the three guys (Glick, El Camino's Chris Kigar and Juan Segundo of Livingston) that passed me last week," he said.