For Moises Medrano, trying to pick his favorite highlight from this past cross country season is similar to what it’s like for most people to choose what ice cream flavor to get when they go to Baskin Robbins.
There’s just so many good options that it’s a difficult decision.
Medrano, the 2017 BVarsity All-Area Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, had an outstanding season from start to finish.
The Highland High senior won seven events including the Southeast Yosemite League championships and Central Section Division II title.
He also took second place in D-II at the prestigious Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational and finished ninth in D-II at the state meet.
Medrano finished first or second in nine of the 11 races that he competed in. His worst finish was a very respectable 11th at the Clovis Invitational.
“I can’t really pick out one highlight,” Medrano said. “Just the season overall was an amazing one, for it being my last cross country one of high school.”
During his three years of racing cross country for Highland, Medrano notched an amazing total of 23 victories. He also led the Scots to back-to-back SEYL titles.
Coming off a spectacular junior season, Medrano felt stronger and more confident heading into his senior campaign.
“There was just a huge difference,” Medrano said. “Going into races I would be confident in the way I want to run and be able to execute races the way I planned on it. And afterward I would still feel amazing.”
Medrano posted new PRs this year at both 5,000 meters (15:23.0) and three miles (15:12.7).
He shaved 20.4 seconds and 22 spots in the finishing order off his state meet performance from his junior year.
“Every year he gets better and better,” Highland coach Rick Mayberry said. “He was more seasoned, and he knew how to race better than in the past couple of years. I think he came in more prepared and every year he’s learned how to run cross country a little bit more.”
Medrano, the Central Section’s reigning track and field 800 meter champion, utilized his superb speed to full effect in several races.
He was mired back in 17th place after the first mile of the 2.93-mile Mt. SAC race.
“I was standing on a hill with the Cal Berkley coach watching the race,” Mayberry said. “All of a sudden he started picking off two-three-four-five kids on every hill. I think if he would have had a half mile more he would have beat the No. 1 kid.”
Medrano’s ninth place finish at state was impressive considering that he wasn’t feeling well and became dehydrated late in the race. He was battling for the lead with a mile to go before losing his strength over the last 800 meters.
“I think about it a lot,” Medrano said. “It’s kind of still a blur. I was up there. I was feeling good. The race was unfolding exactly how we had planned. Coming into that last mile it was just a mixture of the heat and lack of hydration from days prior. Those two things got to me and when it came to make that final push to the end, my body couldn’t withstand the pace and make the move with all the other runners.”
Despite everything, Medrano kept battling because it was important for him to earn his first state medal.
“He loves to race, and he loves competition,” Mayberry said.
Medrano, who finished his junior year with a 4.3 grade point average, has already signed with Cal to run cross country and track next year. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.
But before he embarks on that journey Medrano still has more high school running to do.
“This year showed me what I’m capable of and what I still need to work on for track season, which was the whole goal from the start,” Medrano said.