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Amador Ayon, McFarland

Felix Adamo

During Amador Ayon’s nine years as McFarland High School girls cross country coach, the Cougars have accomplished a lot of extraordinary things.

This past season saw the 2017 BVarsity Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year guide McFarland to some of its most impressive feats ever.

The Cougars, who this year competed in Division I for the first time in the Central Section, became the first school in state history to qualify for the CIF Cross Country State Championships at all five levels of competition.

Under Ayon’s direction they were also the first team from Kern County competing in D-I to ever qualify for the state meet.

The Cougars punched their ticket to state championships after finishing third at section championships, where they squared off against a group of schools with much larger student enrollments.

Despite posting its fastest combined time (99:53.8) in school history for the event, McFarland took 18th at the state championships.

Three weeks earlier the Cougars dominated the Kern County Championships, placing six runners in the top 10.

That result marked the fifth team victory of the year for McFarland, which also won the Sanger XC Invitational, Golden West Invitational, McFarland USA Invitational, and Wasco Invitational.

“We had lots of highlights,” Ayon said. “Winning Kern County a third year in a row. Qualifying for the state meet. Running with Division I schools and proving to them that we belong is a big highlight of the season for me.”

Ayon attribute’s McFarland’s success to a lot of hard work by his runners and coaching staff plus a good support system that includes parents, school administrators, and the McFarland High student body.

“It’s a big cohesive group of a lot of people that is involved in our success,” Ayon said. “You have to have good people all around you to succeed.”

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