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North's Paul signs with Chico State

North Medford standout cross country and track and field runner Josh Paul has signed a letter of intent to compete at Chico State University next year.

Paul, a senior with the Black Tornado, chose NCAA Division II Chico State over the University of Portland and the University of Washington.

"He has spoken numerous times with their coaches," said North Medford track coach Pete Voskes. "I think he chose (Chico State) because he's comfortable with their (coaching) staff and because they offer what he's interested in academically."

Paul took third during the fall at the Class 6A state cross country meet and was third in both the 1,500 and 800 races last spring at the 6A track and field state championships.

He owns a top time of 15 minutes, 50 seconds in the 5-kilometer cross country event and has marks of 1:57 in the 800 and 4:05 in the 1,500.

"Josh has such a range that he can be successful from the 800 to the 5,000," said Voskes. "He's that unique distance runner that has a feel for the 5K, yet has the speed and wherewithal to run a strong 800. He's a good fit with whatever event they want him to run in."

Chico State head track and field coach Kirk Freitas was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association coach of the year last season for the third straight time.

The Wildcats won the CCAA championship last season and finished a program-best sixth in the nation. CSU also had five All-Americans and two national champions in the 10K and 5K events.

"(Chico State) is an extremely good program," said Voskes. "They are one of the best in Division II. It's a hot program right now."

"They do things similar to what we do here at North," Voskes added. "(Paul) is only going to get better."