Fresno teen won second place in statewide cross country championship

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Every year one of the biggest high school tournaments in the state comes right here to Fresno.

Last weekend over two thousand runners competed for a CIF Cross Country State Championship at Woodward Park.

Buchanan senior Corie Smith had plenty of success running on her own.

"Me winning was an individual goal, but the team goals come first. For us to win is the biggest deal for us," said Smith.

Smith won the state crown as a sophomore but was unable to defend her title last season because she had food poisoning on the day of the race. This year she finished second in the state.

"She's had her goals with what she wanted to do and what she wanted to accomplish. I think she did a great job, the second-fastest time she's ever run. It's stressful I'm sure it was in the back of her mind what happened last year. It shows what she is, it didn't get to her. To come and lead the way for her team, second place in CA it's pretty special," said Smith's coach Brian Weaver.

While she came up short, her team still got her some hardware.

Last spring, Buchanan claimed the division one state track and field title. They kept their momentum going into the cross country season.

"Going back to back like that is really cool."

"They're teammates, they're friends, but more teammates than anything. When one kind of falls off they'll encourage them, 'hey come on we can do this,'" said Weaver.

Freshman Sydney Sundgren came in sixth and will try to follow in Smith's footsteps after she graduates.

"She's been a great role model and someone I can look up to. She's really nice and encouraging, she brings all of us freshman in and is very welcoming," said Sundgren.

As for Corie, she has five college visits set up in January and February.

"Wisconsin, Penn State, Arkansas, Missouri, and Florida Gators."

When asked if she enjoys running in the cold weather, Corie said, "yeah the only one closest to this weather is Florida, but I have a friend that goes to Wisconsin so I've been texting her what do I bring please help me"

While the collegiate world awaits her decision, she and the Bears are enjoying their first team title in 25 years.

"I've had a decent career I guess you could say, I started out really well and just kept building from there. To end on such a high note like not only gives me so much confidence going into college but into this track season as well," said Smith.
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