For three years Holtville High's Edel Lopez played football to get in shape for his primary sport, wrestling.
But this year the 17-year-old switched his fall sport and took on cross country.
It was a decision that turned out to be one of the best of his high school career as he took second place at the CIF San Diego Division IV meet on Saturday.
Lopez, a senior, finished the course in 17 minutes, 23 seconds, some 15 seconds behind the winner.
"That was a very hilly course, so that made things a little difficult. I'm used to running on flat courses and there really isn't any place to practice for something like that down here," said Lopez. "Going into it I was kind of scared about how I'd do and thought I'd do worse."
One thing working against Lopez was the fact that he came down with the flu a week before the competition. His flu symptoms kept him out of practice for a few days, altering his training leading up to the meet.