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Saugus titles: Now the season begins

Saugus’ teams win league titles, Totten and Mahoney win individuals

Posted: November 5, 2009 10:57 p.m.
Updated: November 5, 2009 10:53 p.m.

Golden Valley's Seth Totten races past Canyon's Tommy McGuan Thursday.

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Thursday's Foothill League cross country finals were the culmination of the league season.

But in several respects, the real season is about to begin.

Saugus swept the boys and girls team championships for the fourth straight year at Central Park, while Golden Valley won Thursday's boys meet behind Seth Totten's individual league title and finished just one point behind Saugus in the overall standings.

Kaylin Mahoney successfully defended her individual league title for the Centurions with a time of 17 minutes, 9.88 seconds.

Now she'll try to defend something greater: the CIF State Division II championship.

"I was talking to a friend today," Mahoney said, "and I said today marks the beginning of my cross country season. Now it truly matters."

Totten blazed his way to a time of 14:46.34, but more importantly for him, the rest of the team came through, too.

"I was so excited," Totten said. "How I finished meant nothing to see them busting their guts out. It's a team effort. I'm going nowhere on my own."

Golden Valley appears to be rounding into form as it enters the CIF prelims, which will begin Nov. 14 at Mt. San Antonio College. The top three boys and girls teams earned an automatic berth in the postseason.

The league championship meet used double dual-meet scoring, meaning that the winner would be 10-0 against the other five teams instead of 5-0, which was how the first two league meets were scored.

Golden Valley entered Thursday at 7-3 in league and finished 17-3, but Saugus entered the meet at 10-0 and finished second, which gave the Centurions a record of 8-2 and an overall record of 18-2.

Other than those two, every boys and girls cross country team finished in the same spot Thursday as it did in the final league standings.

The Canyon boys were third at 6-4 and an overall record of 13-7, while Hart was fourth at 4-6 and 6-14. Valencia was fifth at 2-8 and 6-14, and West Ranch went 0-20 to finish sixth.

The Saugus girls won the league title with a 20-0 record, and West Ranch was second at 15-5.

Canyon was third at 13-7, Valencia was fourth at 7-13, Golden Valley was fifth at 3-17 and Hart was sixth at 2-18.

Mahoney was neck-and-neck with teammate Karis Frankian for most of the girls race, and Frankian wound up second at 17:10.13.

All seven of Saugus' runners finished in the top 15, but head coach Rene Paragas said his girls still have work to do before attempting to win their fourth straight CIF state championship.

"We're not where we want to be," he said. "We're going in the right direction. For some teams, this meet is the state championship. We just come and weather the blows."

West Ranch's top three runners managed to break up the string of Centurions, as Jennifer Owen finished fourth at 17:39.63, Bailey Miller was fifth at 17:48.02 and Ashley Welker was seventh at 17:55.33.

The key for West Ranch, though, is the performance of the rest of the runners, and Samantha Phillips was the team's next finisher with a 14th-place time of 18:51.64.

"The top three had a good race," said Wildcats head coach Randy Smith. "In the back of the pack, Samantha Phillips has been improving lately. The fifth girl needs to step up or we might not qualify for state."

Canyon's top girls finisher was Alyssa Selve, who wound up eighth with a time of 17:57.02. Valencia's Sarah Adams was ninth at 17:57.46.

Canyon finished with 98 points at Thursday's meet, which was one point ahead of Valencia.

"I'm disappointed, for sure," said Valencia co-head coach Jeff Gilkey. "I thought we were going to get Canyon on the girls side. I knew we had to run our best race and someone else was going to have to have a worse race. We ran a really good race."

Hart's top runner was Grace Zamudio, who finished 13th at 18:39.72.

One spot ahead of her was Golden Valley's Chelsey Totten, who finished in 18:19.69.

Her brother, meanwhile, finished off a dominant regular season in grand fashion.

Seth Totten's time was 12 seconds faster than the first league meet, which was also held at Central Park, and Golden Valley had three other runners in the top 10, led by Kristian Martinez's fourth-place time of 15:24.79.

"We're so young, it's going to take to this point in the season to get our racing legs," said Grizzlies co-head coach Rob Evans. "We're hunting for a podium finish (at state). That keeps us humble and it keeps us focused."

Canyon's Tommy McGuan finished second with a time of 15:12.60, leading a group of four Cowboys in the top 15.

"Tommy's a brave guy," said Canyon head coach Paul Broneer. "Seth's times are better but Tommy has the courage to go with him. (The rest of the runners) are a pack. It helps to know you're not alone suffering through the pain."

Hart's Sam Peckham was third at 15:23.13, and two other Indians were in the top 12.

Unfortunately for Hart head coach Larry David, injuries and sickness ravaged his top runners all season long.

"I'm happy with (Sam's) performance today," David said. "We just never put anybody out there together."

Saugus' Robert Pion, Logan Smith and Alec Nelson went fifth through seventh and gave the Centurions the balance they needed to win another league title.

West Ranch's top finisher was Favian Guzman, who was 33rd at 16:55.64.

NOTES: The top seven runners were awarded first-team all-Foothill League honors, and the next seven were named to the second team. First-team boys included Totten, McGuan, Peckham, Martinez, Pion, Smith and Nelson, and the second team featured Golden Valley's Nolan DelValle and Danny Carrillo, Canyon's Michel Norris and Chris Low, Hart's Konrad Antoniuk and Sam Goldman and Saugus' Alex Ruther. The girls' first team included Mahoney, Frankian, Owen, Miller and Welker, along with Saugus' Stephanie Bulder and Nicole Penick. The girls' second team featured Selve, Adams, Totten, Phillips, Zamudio and Saugus' Merissa Kado and Amber Murakami ... Canyon won the boys junior varsity championship, and Saugus was the girls JV champion. Saugus also swept the frosh/soph championships.


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