MODESTO -- ON THE TRAIL: Glen Bass has been around the Sonora cross country program long enough to give Steven Grolles feat proper perspective. In the 16 years Bass has been affiliated with the program as volunteer, assistant and now head coach, Grolle, the Bees Boys Cross Country Athlete of the Year, is the only runner to reach the medal stand at the CIF State Cross Country Championship.
The junior got there in 10th place this fall, riding a fast pace to 15-minute, 56-second finish, easily the best among Stanislaus District qualifiers.
In the last 16
Grolle has a knack for shining on cross countrys big stages. Hes the reigning Valley Oak League and Stanford Invitational champion, and the two-time defending winner at the Sac-Joaquins Division 4 sub-sectional and section meets.
For his age, hes a very mature runner. Hell tell you immediately after a race what he did, how he did it and whether it was a good move or not, Bass added. Hes fully involved all the time.
OFF THE TRAIL: This straight-A student isnt above poking fun at himself. In fact, next to running and a thirst to learn, humor might be his strongest trait.
Being in cross country with AP classes, theres no room for personality. From schoolwork to practice and stretching, and then you come home to eat, do your homework and sleep Its basically school and running and thats it. Its the sad truth about being a high school cross country runner.
LOOKING AHEAD: Grolle will be a marked man at every starting line he toes, beginning this spring in track and field. Grolle qualified for state in the metric mile at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet in Elk Grove a year ago, becoming the first Sonora athlete to do so in seven years.
Now that hes established himself, the sights are on him, Bass said. Itll be bragging rights if they outrun the guy who went to state.
QUOTABLE: "In my experience, going clear back to when I was a parent-volunteer, there are maybe eight kids that have a work ethic like him. Thats including guys and girls. The difference with him is that hes talented and coachable. Hes a pot of gold; hes got the talent, work ethic and hes coachable. Glen Bass, Sonora coach