While the majority of us were polishing off copious amounts of Thanksgiving leftovers, surveying our ‘Black Friday’ damage or warming up the big screen for Notre Dame-USC last Saturday, San Marino High School junior Alissa Barraza was – running – as usual, and running very fast, posting an impressive fourth-place finish at the CIF State cross country championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Alissa’s time of 18:22 broke SMHS’s previous record on the course, set eighteen years ago when Lady Titan Allison Twist steamed to an 18:50 clocking.
“Alissa has really put her mind to improving and her performance last Saturday was proof,” head Coach Eduardo said while standing on the San Marino High School track on Monday afternoon as we were approached by one Alissa Barraza, who asked for details of the day’s workout. “She has maintained a tremendous work ethic throughout the season and her dedication is clearly paying off. Alissa is a very strong competitor.”
Barraza finished fifth at the CIF Finals on Saturday, November 17, traversing Mt. SAC’s rain-altered course in just 17:17 to finish fifth. A week earlier, Barraza carded a fourth-place finish in the CIF Division IV finals at Mt. SAC in a time of 18:22, breaking another school record that had stood for thirty years. Alissa’s effort led the Lady Titans to a fifth place finish in the CIF Division IV team competition.
“The main thing is, Alissa has put all the elements together,” Mundo continued. “She has matured as a racer. Her main strength is that she is now comfortable letting other racers go ahead of her and making her move when she is ready instead of immediately chasing after them. This is a storied program. There have been some great runners at San Marino High School. Alissa is not breaking records at some other little school. There have been some amazing runners and coaches here. She is the total package”
Two years ago, Alissa ran the sixth-fastest 800 meters in school history as a member of the track team. Marjorie Hsu set San Marino High School’s CIF course record at Woodward Park in 1990 when she finished 9th in Division III with a 19:01. A year later, Hsu ran the exact same time but finished fifth. Allison Twist ran 18:52 in 1993 to finish ninth in Division III, and followed up a year later with an 18:50, good enough for tenth.
On the boys’ side of the ledger, Wesley Reutimann finished fifth in Division IV when he cruised to a 16:05 at Woodward in 1997.
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