Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Dariana Miramontes heads to the finish line with a personal record time of 18:10.6 to place 21st in the CIF State Div. I cross country championships.
FRESNO — Madera South senior Dariana Miramontes stood still after finishing her race at the state championships and took a minute to observe everything around her.
The senior couldn’t believe how far she has come since her freshman year. That’s when she was a nervous kid, barely getting started with high school running and hoping to someday compete with the best in the state.
After finishing 21st in the Div. I girls’ race at the CIF State Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Fresno’s Woodward Park, Miramontes realized how much more confident she has become.
“I was just standing there, taking it all in,” Miramontes said. “I never imagined being here.”
The senior also set a personal record in her last cross country race in high school, finishing with a time of 18:10.6.
“I’m pretty happy that I got a PR,” she said. “The goal was to break 18, but I was pretty close.”
As the only Madera South runner who qualified for the state championships, Miramontes said she had to work extra hard to stay on track and rely on her coaches.
“I was practicing on my own since I was the only one who qualified,” she said. “My coaches pushed me every practice and really helped me stay motivated.”
The senior qualified for the state championships after finishing eighth at the Div. I Central Section Cross Country championship.
“It was a great season. I feel that I improved,” she said. “I learned a new mindset. That has helped me and I feel it’s a great way to finish my senior year.”
With her experience at Woodward Park, Miramontes felt that she had an advantage against some of the runners who came from other parts of the state.
“I knew exactly what to use, where the downhill and uphill is,” she said. “Running at Woodward over and over gives me the tricks.”
Miramontes said she will now prepare for the track-and-field season. She will then look forward to continuing her running career after high school.
“It was a great season overall and I’m really happy,” she said. “I have big goals for track. I really want to continue my running.”