REV’s Elias Opsahl exacts his own revenge with a CIF-State Division 2 individual cross country title
By Landon Negri
FRESNO — The moment he crossed the finish line Saturday, Elias Opsahl raised his arms triumphantly in the air with exhilaration a year in the making.
The disappointment that was the end of his 2016 cross country season fed the success of 2017. And that success culminated Saturday with a CIF-State Championship after the Redlands East Valley senior outkicked Canyon Country Canyon’s Ethan Danforth to win the state’s Division II cross country championship in 15 minutes, 16.9 seconds at Fresno’s Woodward Park.
A year ago, Opsahl was running second well into the third mile at the state meet before fading badly to a 36th-place finish.
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On Saturday, he became the sixth San Bernardino County boy to win an individual title.
“It was a great feeling,” he said. “I was feeling the pain of the moment, but I’m also feeling the redemption of what this season has been and what last year has been.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have success, a team behind me and great coaches,” he added, “but to finally have a result, and a fun race where you can kind of relax the whole race and really only feel the pain in the last mile — that’s my favorite kind of race.”
Opsahl stayed near the front of the 5-kilometer event the whole way. He said he was unaffected by the warmer-than-normal, late-November temperatures — about 74 degrees and sunny — in Fresno.
Ironically, he made his move early in the third mile at about the same point he faded a year ago.
“That second mile, I was like, “Man, this is really where I spent myself last […]