Hartnell College sophomore Diego Leon remembers the exact moment he would become the 2014 CCCAA individual cross country champion. Leon, who prepped at Anzar High School in San Juan Bautista, had just finished a disappointing 54th place at the 2013 championship after falling early in the race and not recovering mentally or physically to perform his best in the final race of the season. In the next year, Leon logged more miles than possibly any runner in the state to fulfill his vision at this year's championship. He crossed the line in 20:10 on November 22 to not only become Hartnell's second ever state champion but also the second best performer in school history at Woodward Park. The performance completed a near perfect season that saw Leon win every race except one by more than a comfortable margin. He completed his cross country career at Hartnell College improving from 3rd to overall winner in the Coast Conference, 4th to individual Norcal Champion, and from 54th to 1st at the State Championship.
Diego Leon has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field for Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Montana State University is an NCAA Division I member and competes in the Big Sky Conference. He will join two other former Hartnell College school record holders there Cristian Soratos (Salinas HS) and Austin Decker (NMC HS). After his state championship in cross country, Leon will be heavy a favorite to win both the 5000 and 10,000 meters at this spring's CCCAA Track & Field Championship in San Mateo.