Staff Report

The last time a Midland jersey was worn in the cross country finals of the CIF state championship was in 1994, when senior Joaquin Pierce — the fastest Midland runner of all time — placed sixth in the small-schools division.

Twenty-four years later, Midland’s place in the state finals has been reclaimed by sophomore Will Goddard, who placed 18th in the small-schools division on Nov. 24 in Fresno with a time of 16:32.6 for 5,000 meters.

Although he was the only Midland runner in the race, his teammates cheered him on at multiple checkpoints throughout the 5K race. This has been a banner year for Midland’s all-time fastest cross country team, including two sophomore teammates, Porter Barnes and Ziggy Goddard, whose best times have been within seconds of Will’s.

A highlight of the team’s time in Fresno was a chance encounter with their heroes from McFarland, Calif., icons of cross country running, who asked, “Where’s Midland?” while greeting the team warmly. The runners were excited to know that they now have the team to put Midland on the map.