The COVID-19 pandemic has kept most students off campus and delayed high school sports seasons in Southern California, but some local athletes were still able to celebrate their accomplishments by signing national letters of intent last week.
Among them is Crescenta Valley High School senior Mia Barnett, one of the most accomplished runners in the area, who officially announced that she will continue her cross-country career at the University of Virginia. Barnett, who transferred from Sun Valley Village Christian, has won individual CIF Southern Section Division 5 cross-country championships the past three years. She also excelled on the track, capturing CIF-SS Division 4 crowns in the 1,600-meter run the past two seasons and a title in the 3,200-meter event in 2018.
Barnett has two CIF State Division 5 cross-country runner-up finishes and is the defending champion of the prestigious Foot Locker West, a race that features the best runners from 12 states.
Flintridge Prep senior and Glendale resident Sofia Gonzalez signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Tufts University, a Division III school that competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. As a freshman, the 5-8 combo guard helped the Wolves — formerly known as the Rebels — reach the CIF-SS Division 3A championship in 2018 and earned a spot on the All-CIF first team.
Coaches Kevin Kiyomura and Jayme Kiyomura-Chan have amassed an overall record of 73-16 the past three seasons with Gonzalez on the roster.
“Having Sofia has been amazing,” Kiyomura-Chan said. “She is the type of kid who just really poured everything into it. She has a competitive edge. Nobody likes to lose, but with Sofia, that’s an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, we have a lot of great athletes, but a lot of girls lack that chip [on their shoulder], and Sofia’s chip is huge.”