Nov 20, 2015
Diablo Valley College freshman Ariana Corwin followed a tried-and-true formula to earn a spot in Saturday's CCCAA State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.
She showed up for practice each day, never missing, and put in a lot of hard work.
"It's crazy. I didn't think I was going to qualify at all, so it was a huge deal for me," Corwin said of advancing to the state meet.
Corwin, a graduate of Saint Mary's College High, and Big 8 Conference men's champion Kin Wong, a freshman international student from Hong Kong, will both represent DVC. The state men's race is 4.0 miles, and the women's is 3.0 miles.
Corwin punched her ticket by finishing 27th in the NorCal Regional in Salinas in a time of 20 minutes, 44.6 seconds over 3.0 miles. Wong advanced by tying for 17th in the NorCal men's race, in 21:38.2 over 4.0 miles.
Vikings coach Shelly Pierson gives both runners high marks, describing Corwin as "very serious and dedicated," and Wong as a "hard worker" who sometimes pushes himself a little too hard.
After Corwin learned she'd qualified for the state meet, she called her former high school coach Denis Mohun and left him a message with the good news.
"He called me back later and left me the nicest congratulations message, it was really sweet," she said.
Is she nervous about the state race?
"I was more nervous at NorCals because I knew I had to qualify, but now since I'm going I can just run my best and not worry because it's my last race," she said.
Wong, a 1,500-meter runner at DVC in track and field, is making the most of his debut season in cross country. He runs so many miles that his victory in the Big 8 race, the first conference title by a DVC runner in at least a decade, wasn't that big of a deal to him.
Why is Wong running cross country?
"I decided to do this because I wanted to stay healthy because I love food. I eat a lot," Wong said with a chuckle. "I don't want to gain any weight, so I decided to do cross country."
Wong, who plans to transfer after the track season, says his goal is to place in the top 20 in Fresno.