The three-time defending state champion cross-country team of Big Bear High School ran their way to a berth in the state championships taking place in Fresno this coming Saturday, having completed a podium finish in this weekend’s CIF Southern Section championships at Mt. Sac. Head Coach Jonathan Stiles says, “We were happy”—this, given the Bears’ second place finish, just behind Laguna Beach High School. “We were ranked sixth, so we finished higher than that,” Stiles says of the team, which includes Jake Murie, Roy Bowling, Connor McCutcheon, Kevin Magdiel, Mark Negrete, Evan Johnson and Bobby Morales, who were among the 117 top runners from Division 4 schools within all of Southern California. As Coach Stiles tells KBHR, “I was very proud. They all ran their personal records for the season, and all at the same time and when it counts.” The Bears brought home a CIF plaque to commemorate another impressive season, and Jake Murie was an individual medalist, having finished the November 21 race in the top 10. Stiles notes that in this past Saturday’s race, the Laguna Beach team broke the CIF record, so the Bears are looking forward to the challenge of what will surely be a tough race ahead, at the November 28 state cross-country championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.