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XC teams tune up at Mt. SAC

Prep cross country: All Foothill teams race in prestigious event

Posted: October 26, 2013 11:19 p.m.
Updated: October 26, 2013 11:19 p.m.
 

For the most part, the headliners of the Santa Clarita Valley did as expected at the Mt. San Antonio College Cross Country Invitational on Saturday.

All six Foothill League cross country teams were in action in the annual event at Mt. SAC College that features thousands of runners from elementary age to community college.

For the high school level, it’s one of the largest and most prestigious cross country events in the nation, and many local teams use it as a final tune-up for Foothill finals and postseason competition.

The CIF-Southern Section prelims and finals take place on the same course in November.

“It gets you prepared for a possible postseason run,” said West Ranch head coach Rick Larimore.

The West Ranch girls team joined the Canyon girls as the only two Foothill teams to race in the Division I and II team sweepstakes, which features the meet’s highest level of high school competition.

Canyon finished eighth of 20 teams and West Ranch took 16th.

Senior Natalie Rodriguez led Canyon with a 15th place finish in 18 minutes, 16 seconds, which is the school’s third best all-time for a senior.

“That’s what we thought we’d finish if we ran the race we thought we would,” said Canyon head coach Paul Broneer. “Every girl raced a decent race.

West Ranch’s Marisa Magsarili led her by taking 27th in 18:34.

Though West Ranch’s top three runners have been solid, injuries have left question marks at the Nos. 4 and 5 spots.

“We’re pleased with the results,” Larimore said. “We’re hoping that we’ll be healthy in league when it really counts.”

The race was won by Simi Valley, ranked No. 1 in the state by PrepCalTrack.com.

The third-ranked girls team in the state, Saugus, opted out of the sweepstakes and instead raced in the less competitive Division II sub-sweepstakes.

Saugus easily won it with its top three runners placing in the top 10 and all five scoring runners in the top 20.

Samantha Ortega won in 16:47, more than a minute ahead of second place, to extend her race winning streak to six this season.

Valencia finished 10th in the girls Division I sub-sweeps with Amelia Pear (33rd, 19:23) coming in first on the team.

The Saugus boys team also ran in the Division II sub-sweeps and ended up fourth, led by Ethan Walker (12th place, 15:43). Saugus was participating without No. 1 runner Brian Zabilski.

Hart finished 13th in the same race with Ryan Ortiz (31st, 16:19) leading the way.

In the Division I sub-sweeps boys race, Valencia placed 17th with Ian Hurst (45th, 16:10) finishing in front for his team.

Canyon took 20th in that same race thanks to a sixth place finish from Caleb McClain in 15:29.

Earlier in the day, the West Ranch boys finished second in a Division I varsity race as Tucker Welker took third place in 15:31.

In other varsity races on Saturday, the Golden Valley boys won their Division II race aided by the second-place finish of Arnold Bautista in 16:01.

The Golden Valley girls ended up seventh in their Division II race as Veronica Lopez (16th, 20:08) was the team’s top finisher.

All six teams will be in action again on Nov. 7 for the Foothill League finals at Central Park.

Notes: Trinity Classical Academy and Albert Einstein also took part in the Mt. SAC Invitational, both racing on Friday. The Einstein boys placed 18th of 24 teams in the varsity Division V boys race and the girls team took 16th of 16 qualifying finishers in girls Division V. In that same race, the Trinity girls participated with four runners, which wasn’t enough to give them a qualifying score.

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