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Four Saugus distance runners are heading to CIF State Finals

Posted: May 29, 2009 10:01 p.m.
Updated: May 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Valencia High senior Aly Drake (5) runs second in the 800-meter run at the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College in Norwalk Friday.

NORWALK — Saugus High School has a rich tradition of girls distance runners.

Not even the distance teams of the past accomplished what the 2009 team did Friday at the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College.

Saugus qualified four runners for the CIF State Meet in the 3,200-meter run, the most runners from a single school since the State Meet began holding the event in 1980.

All four girls finished the race under the qualifying time of 10 minutes, 47.04 seconds.

Freshman Karis Frankian led the way, finishing sixth overall with a time of 10:41.82, and sophomore Stephanie Bulder was eighth with a time of 10:42.31.

Fellow sophomore Kaylin Mahoney was ninth at 10:43.72, and senior Anne Randall finished 10th at 10:45.64.
Has the weight of the accomplishment hit the team?

“No, it hasn’t,” said Saugus distance coach Rene Paragas. “When you’re in season, you just look to the next week. We got four through, and that was the goal.”

Frankian paced the Centurions by keeping her calm and running a smart race.

“I just told myself to relax,” she said. “I just tried to stay with the pack. I was at the back of the pack and I knew if I lost them, I wouldn’t go to state.”

The number of Saugus runners in the race, Paragas noted, works to their advantage.

“The more girls we get in one race, the better they perform as a group,” he said. “They all practice together. They know if their teammate can do this, they can do this.”

All four will now take part in the CIF State Meet, which will take place June 5 and 6 at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

A total of six Foothill League athletes qualified for the state meet.

Randall also qualified for the 1,600 after finishing seventh overall with a time of 4:56.50.

Randall fell toward the back of the pack early in the race, but she finished with a strong kick to beat the state qualifying time of 4:57.09.

“I know the last lap in the mile is most important,” she said. “You must run a fast last lap to have a good time. I’m not used to the back of the pack. When the last lap came I knew I had to run all out.”

Bulder finished 10th in the 1,600 at 4:58.49.

Like Randall, Saugus senior Daniel Swarbrick qualified for the state meet in two events. He finished second in the discus with a throw of 175 feet, 7 inches, topping the qualifying mark of 172-10.

Swarbrick also hurled the shot put 58-0 3/4 to finish third, besting the qualifying mark of 56-8.

Valencia senior Aly Drake qualified for the state meet in the 800-meter run, finishing second with a time of 2:10.88.

The qualifying time was 2:12.33, and Drake negotiated a crowded track but couldn’t out-kick Marlborough’s Carlyle Davis.

“There were definitely lots of girls,” Drake said. “It’s hard to move around. I was hoping (Davis) wasn’t going to kick, but she did.”

Valencia sophomore Jasmine Hall cleared 5-3 in the girls high jump, falling just short of the qualifying height of 5-5.


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