The Woodbridge Cross Country Classic is a tradition for Southern California high schools. Big Bear is a big part of that institution.
Former Big Bear High School standout Chad Hall holds the course record for boys at 14 minutes flat, set in 2006.
Hundreds of cross country athletes from all divisions are expected to compete in the 32nd annual event, which takes place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14 and 15.
Big Bear runners are scheduled to compete in several races Friday evening.
Racing is divided by class and experience. There are races in novice, JV, freshman, sophomore, junior, senior and varsity divisions. Big Bear competes in the white division of small schools beginning at 5 p.m. The final race is set for 9:20 p.m.
The Bears are coming off a solid appearance at the Fastback Shootout Sept. 8. “Caleb (Webb) was the highlight at Fastback,” head coach Jonathan Stiles said. “He’s still very green and getting better every week. His time Saturday placed him 12th overall out of 1,005 total runners on the boys side. Caleb’s rate of improvement will give him the edge later as he’s only run one year in comparison.”
Stiles said he was also pleased with the performances of sophomores Jordan Wycoff and Brandon Mendez. “Jennifer (Schick) did well for our girls,” Stiles said. “And, of course I’m proud of my daughter, Madeleine, who placed 21st in her first race after a very unspectacular middle school tenure.”
Stiles said Big Bear seniors Bobby Moralez and Dillon Murphy, who missed the opening meet Sept. 8, will sit out Woodbridge because of Achilles injuries. “I had to give them time off and now bring them back up to speed,” Stiles said. “They won’t race the first few meets because of it. It’s too bad because Bobby was in tremendous shape and looking to do even better than Bryan (Hayes) did last year.”
The Woodbridge Cross Country Classic will be used by Big Bear to help develop the sophomore class and get some fast times, Stiles said.