Maybe the biggest difference between successful campaigns book marked with disappointing finishes was a slight, but important, shift in attitude for La Salle High senior Daniel De La Torre.
Last year at this time, De La Torre was a 17-year-old filled with disbelief after finishing ninth in the 1,600-meters and fourth in the 3,200 at the 2012 CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis.
His hopes for a state title faded into the sweltering 100-degree heat.
The conclusion to his junior season proved to be a bitter pill, as De La Torre admitted having trouble resting during a month-long summer break.
"I couldn't sleep. That finish at state was something I thought about for a long time," De La Torre said. "When you work so hard for so long and it doesn't go your way, it's hard to accept."
An angst-filled summer gave way slowly.
"It was tough at times because Daniel wants to win, wants to be the best at everything and sometimes that just can't happen," La Salle assistant Duane Norris said. "He had the work ethic, but not the understanding that everything can always go the way you want."