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All-SCV Boys Cross Country: Follow the leader

Golden Valley’s Totten blazed a trail for not only his team but also his school

Posted: January 3, 2010 10:27 p.m.
Updated: January 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Golden Valley senior Seth Totten finished seventh in the state as an individual, while his team finished third and took another big step forward.

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The performances turned in by Seth Totten this season were downright scary.

The state of Golden Valley’s cross country program before Totten’s emergence was just as frightening.

The coaches recount days when they would drive around and make sure the runners were actually running during practice.

Consequently, the Grizzlies didn’t perform very well at meets.

Thanks to Totten, that all changed.

This season, the senior dominated the Foothill League – no one came within 12 seconds of Totten at the three league meets – and finished seventh overall at the CIF State Division III meet.

The rest of the Grizzlies followed his lead and finished third as a team at the state meet.

Golden Valley High School would be wise to follow his lead, too.

Although cross country doesn’t have the notoriety of football or basketball, it’s the most decorated program at the school.

And Totten is its most decorated runner.

For the second straight season, he is The Signal’s All-Santa Clarita Valley Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.

In addition to his performances at the state meet and in the league, Totten finished fifth at the CIF-Southern Section Division III finals and led the Grizzlies to a Division III sweepstakes championship at the Mt. San Antonio College Cross Country Invitational.

But that’s only part of the story.

What makes Totten truly special is his leadership off the course.

He led the team to a successful season in 2008, when no one expected the Grizzlies to do well.

He led the team to a successful season in 2009, when plenty of people expected the Grizzlies to do well.

He demands excellence of himself during training, and he expects it from his teammates.

They usually come through, but they didn’t at the second league meet this season.

Visibly upset after the team finished third, Totten promised the team would stop reading its press clippings and re-commit itself in practice.

The results from the rest of the season speak for themselves.

The future of Golden Valley cross country is equally bright.

Several underclassmen will be back to help the Grizzlies stay near the top of the Division III field.

One of them will become the team’s new leader.

Thanks to Totten, it’s a tough act to follow.

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