For the better part of his four- year Ripon High cross country career, The Bulletin’s 2012 All-Area Male Runner of the Year Ryan Torres was on a steady climb to be the best distance runner in the Indians’ ultra-competitive program.
He made minor contributions his freshman year and increased his load by the Indians’ Trans-Valley League Championship his sophomore season. When his junior year concluded Torres had substantiated his Ripon career with back-to-back CIF State Championship appearances.
His third trip this season left little room for doubt.
“My breakout year would have been my sophomore season,” Torres said. “My freshman year I was just getting acclimated to the sport and my sophomore year I started to get a lot better and our team won league and (Sac-Joaquin) Sections.
“I finished in the top-5, so I set goals for the next two years to finish in the top five again so I can qualify for state.”
Torres didn’t miss a step the final two seasons, fulfilling his primary goal of making return trips to the ultimate high school cross country finale. Torres did miss one step along the way, trusting his TVL champion teammates to get through the SJS sub-section championships a week prior to the section championships.
The Indians were able to take care of business, while Torres, who was taking the SAT, was also able to take care of business.
“There was a SAT test on that day and I knew that it was a conflicting date,” Torres said. “There was one other SAT that came up earlier in the year, but we had an invitational on the state course (Woodward Park, Fresno) and I didn’t want to miss that because it was an important meet. It came down to me missing sub-sections.
“My coach said it would be OK and that we’d probably qualify; I just had faith in my team that we’d qualify.”
Torres’ run was as decorated as any distance runner in the school’s history, accomplishing a laundry list of accomplishments that include the impressive three trips to the state championships. His steady progression through the high school ranks has instilled a confidence in the leader he expects to continue to drive him in the collegiate ranks.
“College is important to me because I think I’ve developed the speed throughout high school,” Torres said. “So I definitely think it can take my running to the next level. Right now, with the colleges that I’m looking at, St. Mary’s College in Moraga is where I want to be.”