First-year cross-country runner competes in state finals.


Chris Felix trained hard in the gym to bring his running up to the next level.

Chris Felix, 20, was the first Knights cross-country runner to represent City College at the individual state finals competition since 2010.Felix qualified in his first year competing in the Pacific Coast Conference and even though he placed lower than he hoped, his experiences this season were invaluable.

Felix, born in San Diego, moved back here from Riverside County in 2012 for “economic expansion.” He was prompted by his roommate to walk on to the Knights squad and after only one season of intercollegiate competition, he finished 87th out of roughly 220 runners in the state qualifying race.

“It’s been really amazing. It’s definitely my highest achievement in running I’ve ever had. I’m truly stoked about this opportunity to go to states,” expressed Felix the week before running in Fresno’s Woodward Park race on Nov. 23.

A life long athlete, Felix began running during his freshman year of high school after his Paloma Valley football coach made track and field compulsory in the offseason.

“I originally did jumps and had no aspirations to run at all,” stated Felix. After the sprints coach requested he work out with them, he finished first for his team and second overall in the 400m dash as a freshman. After his sophomore season, he put down the wide receiver gloves and focused solely on running.

“Chris is a true student of the sport,” proudly expressed his coach, Paul Greer, when speaking of his recent achievements. According to Greer, the PCAC is the second strongest conference in the state. In recent years, City College has consistently fallen short of qualifying as a school, and Nick Bernal was the last individual to achieve all-conference and run in states, in 2010.

However, the efforts of Felix and team captain, Antonio Hernandez, helped the Knights to their most successful season they’ve enjoyed in quite some time. The squad consistently finished in the top third at competitions in 2013.

Hernandez, the sophomore captain, was an all-conference runner this season and narrowly missed qualifying for states – competing after the sudden passing of his mother.Even in light of his tragedy, he never stopped helping young Felix.

“The day before state [qualifiers], I learned a whole bunch of new stretches from the guy,” Felix warmly regarded. “He was giving me some advice about not stretching too much because you don’t wanna be too loose.”

Felix finished 142 out of 203 in Fresno and ran 22:47, almost a minute slower than his target, but he remains confident and maintains that his goal is to be top 50 in the state, and to help his team qualify for states in 2014.

“I’ll have no issues holding up my end of that bargain,” confidently spoke Felix after the race.

When asked if there was a moment he knew it was all coming together, he recalled a competition in Ontario in which he ran a personal best time of 22:04, coming in 16th out of 87 runners. That achievement grabbed him the PCAC Athlete Of the Week award, for which he will receive a certificate.

Felix, a Liberal Arts major, hopes to remain in school to teach and coach. He will return to City College next year before considering a transfer, and reports that he may be looking to Colorado state schools, a system famous for producing strong cross-country runners.

“Chris is a young runner,” expressed Greer. “He’s got a lot more great years ahead of him.”