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All-SCV Girls Cross Country: Timing is everything

Saugus' Mahoney used early meets as training and peaked at the right time

Posted: January 3, 2010 10:16 p.m.
Updated: January 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Saugus junior Kaylin Mahoney geared her training toward the postseason, and it paid off for both her and the Centurions, who won a fourth straight state title.

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Kaylin Mahoney had run this course before.

She knew what it would take to be successful in cross country’s postseason. She knew how fulfilling the experience was, both individually and as a team.

So Mahoney paced herself.

Much like Saugus as a whole, she treated the first half of the season as training.

She flashed her tremendous talent in early October at the McQuaid Invitational in Rochester, N.Y., where she won the individual varsity AAA race against top competition from across the country.

But she spent most of the first couple months making sure her times were where they needed to be, and nothing more.

Then, when the Foothill League finals rolled around, Mahoney said her true season was about to begin.

It was time to step up.

Her accomplishments from then on sound awfully familiar. Foothill League individual champion. CIF-Southern Section Division II individual champion.

They were honors she had achieved in 2008 and achieved again in 2009.

Here’s another: The Signal’s All-Santa Clarita Valley Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

For the second straight season, Mahoney earns our top individual award because of her collection of outstanding performances — many of which came at the best possible time.

She finished 13th overall at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Ore., and Saugus finished fourth.

For the fourth straight season, Saugus won a CIF state championship, a CIF-Southern Section championship and a Foothill League championship.

The Centurions’ depth has been a key component during their record run. But the program also needed someone to come along and be consistent at the top.

Mahoney’s timing couldn’t have been better.

This season, the only title she didn’t successfully defend was her individual state championship.

Given the team’s success, she didn’t really care.

Mahoney is as selfless as she is talented, which has helped her become one of the greatest runners in Santa Clarita Valley history.

There may come a time when Mahoney is spoken of exclusively in that regard. It may already be here.

Either way, her career can’t be judged in its totality yet.

The junior still has time left.

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