That’s what Canyon cross-country runner Ethan Danforth was giving off after his third-place finish in Division 2 at the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno on Saturday.
Donning this specific course as his favorite course of all time, Danforth finished Division 2 race with a time of 15 minutes, 05.6 seconds.
“Man, I feel great. I just gave it everything I had. I left it out on the field too, in the corner,” Danforth said jokingly. “I’m so excited, I don’t even know how to explain it … this is just like … I just want to explode.”
With the top 3 finish, Danforth has secured a spot at next week’s Nike Cross Nationals at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, Dec. 1.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Canyon coach Dave Delong. “As a coach I’ve been blessed to have great teams and great kids, but Ethan is kind of the cherry on top for me as I’m coming towards the end of my career.
“I told him that I’ve never been to NXN and this is probably my last chance so that was kind of the goal for us and it’s an exciting moment for me. That’s what I’m excited for, the memory of making it to nationals with Ethan.”
As the only representative from Canyon at the state meet, Danforth has always held his teammates and his school in high regards and has never stopped running in hopes that he could represent Canyon to the best of his abilities.
“I would not run for anyone else,” Danforth said. “Canyon is a second family for me with coach Delong and the rest of my coaches. I do it for them and being the first athlete to go to nationals is just cool.”
With nationals a week away, Danforth knows what he has to do over the next week.
“We are just going to give good vibes this whole week. That’s all,” he said.
Fellow Foothill League runner Daniel Rush of Golden Valley joined Danforth as the only Division 2 boys runner to make the state meet. Rush finished in 54th place with a time of 16:05.8.
Trinity Classical Academy’s Shane Lintereur rounded out the individual runners at the state meet after finishing fifth in the Division 5 race.
After finishing seventh at CIF-Southern Section Finals just a week ago, Lintereur knew what he had to do. Finishing with a time of 16:08.0 in the 5k race, Lintereur set new personal record.
“I feel great about PR-ing, especially on this course,” Lintereur said. “I’ve never really done well on hilly courses and this course has a lot of them so I’m really pumped about that.
I didn’t really register how well I did until I was done, I just noticed that there weren’t very many people in front of me when I finished.”
The Saugus girls cross-country team was the only Foothill League representative from Division 2 in Fresno and walked away with a sixth-place finish with an average team time of 18:44.
After faltering at CIF-SS finals, Centurion sophomore Julia Pearson improved her on 72nd-place finish just a week ago, finishing in 12th place with a time of 18:10.1.
“I felt like after a bad race, it was kind of written in the stars for me to have a race the next time up,” Pearson said with a smile. “I just wanted to do better than last year, I went out a little to fast, but like my coach said we need to be fast but relaxed so I kept that mentality the whole time and felt relaxed the whole race.”
Freshman Isabella Duarte (30th) recorded a time of 18:32.9, junior Hailey Rutter (41st) had a time of 18:44.7 and freshman Brooklyn Bendrat (48th) finished with a time of 18:53.2.
“We are 100 percent excited for the future,” said Saugus coach Kevin Berns. “Again, we are young. We ran three sophomores and two freshmen today and we have more lower-level runners that will push these girls next year.
We’re excited. We are absolutely excited for the future.”