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CIF State XC Division I, II, III and IV champions will meet Saturday

Saugus to host Great Oak, Bonita and JSerra

Posted: September 4, 2013 6:44 p.m.
Updated: September 4, 2013 6:44 p.m.

You could call it the cross country meet of the century in the Santa Clarita Valley.

 At least Saugus seven-time state cross country champion head coach Rene Paragas called it such.

The Saugus September Showdown, hosted by Saugus cross country at Central Park on Saturday, will feature the state’s defending girls CIF Divisions I, II, III and IV champions in an unprecedented local event.

It will also feature top boys competition, as well.

The girls race will take place at 9:30 a.m., featuring the seven-time defending state and current CIF State Division II champion Saugus girls cross country team, defending Division I champion Great Oak High of Temecula, defending Division III champion Bonita High of La Verne and defending Division IV champion JSerra of San Juan Capistrano.

“In my opinion, it’s the biggest cross country event we’ve ever had in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Paragas said. “It’s an event. It’s something to get excited about. If I wasn’t in charge of putting it together, I’d be coming.”

Things will get started at 8 a.m. with a boys frosh/soph race, followed by a girls frosh/soph race at 8:30 a.m.

The boys race will take place at 9 a.m., featuring the same four schools.

The Saugus boys were the CIF State Division II runners-up last season and are ranked 23rd in the state and 87th in the nation, according to DyestatCAL.

Great Oak is ranked 13th in the state and 109th in the nation, Bonita is 59th in the state and JSerra is 90th in the state.

The girls race will feature four of the nation’s best, with perhaps Saugus coming in as the underdog.

Paragas said JSerra has six of its top seven runners from last year’s state title team returning, while Great Oak and Bonita have all seven.

Saugus returns three — Samantha Ortega, Abigail Frankian and Darby LaPlant.

However, state 800-meter finalist Sabrina Janes joined the team.

Paragas said because he had so few big-meet experienced girls, he set this race up as motivation.

“Every meet we enter we want to win,” he said. “I set it up as motivation. I wanted the new underclassmen to know they have the meet of the century coming up.”

Saugus Principal Bill Bolde, who helped plan the event, said he’s hoping this is the first of many.

“We are trying to do something in Santa Clarita that mirrors (the top meets in the state),” he said. “Where the cream of the crop can bring the top runners. We’re hoping this is something we can do as a kickoff to cross country season and in years to come.”


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