Weekend Sports Calendar: DP’s Fernandez goes for state title

Dos Pueblos boys cross country

Dos Pueblos’ boys cross country team with Bryan Fernandez in the middle. (Presidio Sports Photo)

Bryan Fernandez elevated his running to another level during the summer before his senior year, and the hard work he put in and the knowledge he gained during the offseason has paid off in a big way.

Last weekend, Fernandez became Dos Pueblos High?s first CIF Southern Section individual cross country champion. On Saturday, he will attempt to win a individual state title and help the Chargers claim a Division 2 team crown at the CIF State Championships at Fresno?s Woodward Park.

The other members of the boys team are Max Davis, Andrew McGuan, John Greening, Cole Smith, Ben York and Tyler Bradford.


DP?s Addi Zerrenner also will be running for an individual state title in the Division 2 girls competition at Fresno.

After finishing a successful track season last spring (third place in the Division 2 3200 final), Fernandez headed into the summer looking to raise his game. He hooked up with former DP teammate Sergey Sushchikh, who is now running cross country and track at UCLA.

?I was training with Sergey every day,? Fernandez said. ?He showed me how he trained in college, his diet, everything like that. It really changed my outlook in how to train for these races and prepare for them.?

The results speak for themselves. Fernandez is undefeated in 10 races this season, including victories in big invitationals like Woodbridge, Clovis and Mt. SAC and in the postseason events, the CIF-SS Prelims and Finals.

?This has definitely been better than expected,? he said of his senior season. ?I came into the season definitely expecting to run for a CIF championship and going to the state meet. But, I didn?t expect to be undefeated and running all these times I?ve been running on all these historic courses in California.?

At the CIF State Meet, he?ll be running on a 5,000-meter course that has hard-packed dirt trails with some grass and asphalt, a few mild up-and-down rolling hills and one steep short hill.

Fernandez has experience running the course, most recently in early October at the Clovis Invitational, where he covered the course in 15:09.

?I finally figured that course for the first time in three years, and I feel pretty good going into this weekend,? he said.

His fastest meet time this season is 14:09 on the flat three-mile course at the Seaside Invitational in Ventura.

Fernandez was a talented sophomore on the 2010 DP team that finished 10th in the state meet. He placed 55th that year. Sushchikh took fifth.

When he started running cross country as a freshman, he said his goal was to keep up with Sushchikh.

?He was a big junior and running all fast. I never really thought about state and national level.?

Now, Fernandez is the man.

He expects his toughest competition on Saturday will come from Steven Fahy of La Costa Canyon, the San Diego Section Division 2 champion, and Austin Goins of Canyon-Anaheim and Garrett Corcoran of Villa Park, who finished two seconds behind Fernandez in the Southern Section Division 2 finals.

The Chargers and Zerrenner will be looking to bounce back from off days at the sectional finals. The boys team, ranked No. 1 in Division 2, finished fifth. Zerrenner, the top-ranked girl in the division, placed third.

Zerrenner placed 10th at last year?s state championships.

Events worth checking out this weekend:


High School Football: CIF-SS Northwest Division Semifinals, Bishop Diego at North Torrance, 7 p.m. ? The top-seeded Cardinals (12-0) have reached the final four for the second straight year. They face a team that has size and speed. In North?s quarterfinal win over Gladstone last Friday, reserve running back Corey Cox rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown on nine carries and caught two passes for 76 yards and another score. Bishop?s defense picked off four passes and recovered a fumble in its quarterfinal win over Village Christian.

Women?s volleyball: Long Beach State at UCSB, 7 p.m. ? The Gauchos (15-16, 8-8) look to finish the season with a winning record ? they haven?t had a losing season since 2008. They play host to UC Irvine on Saturday.

Men?s water polo: UCSB vs. USC at MPSF Tournament ? The Gauchos have the unenviable task of playing the four-time defending national champions in the opening round of the conference tournament at USC.


Women?s basketball: Cal State San Marcos at Westmont, 3 p.m. ? The NAIA No. 7-ranked Warriors return home after a four-game road trip.