ORANGE — The CIF State cross country meet is the year-end goal, as teams push to make it to Fresno's Woodward Park.
For the Corona del Mar High boys' team, the issue is particularly pressing. That's what happens when you miss the state meet by a single place, like the Sea Kings did last year.
And that's also why the Sea Kings took their lumps Saturday in the sweepstakes race at the Orange County Championships, held at Irvine Regional Park.
"Three of the top teams in the country are in that race," CdM Coach Bill Sumner said of Dana Hills, El Toro and race winner Trabuco Hills. "For us, we chose the sweepstakes so we could have that kind of competition that it's going to take to get us to the state meet. The boys need the experience. They don't want to miss the state meet again because they don't know how to race a big meet."