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Running strong

Saugus’ Alec Nelson sets Central Park course record

Posted: October 16, 2008 9:16 p.m.
Updated: December 18, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Saugus runner Kaylin Mahoney crosses the finish line first in personal best time at the cross country meet held at Central Park on Thursday afternoon. The Centurion boys and girls claimed victory at the event.

With his headband wound tight over his blonde hair, Saugus cross country runner Alec Nelson came marching toward the finish line Thursday at Central Park in record time.

By the time the Centurion junior crossed the finish line, he immediately became a part of history in the second Foothill League meet this season.

With a blazing time of 15 minutes, 3 seconds, Nelson set a new course mark. It was part of Saugus' win this season, the second in league meets.

Nelson was not alone in breaking the old mark of 15:25 set last season by Jimmy Kelley of Hart, who now runs for Pepperdine University. Saugus teammate Brandon Jauregui was second (15:17), while Seth Totten of Golden Valley (15:25) tied it.

Nelson set his new record on the rolling, windy, 3.1-mile course along the outside part of Central Park.

"We were trying to go out and win as a team," Nelson said. "The course record was on my mind."

Saugus won the dual meet, in which every school was paired off against each other. Valencia came in second, followed by Golden Valley. Canyon finished fourth, Hart fifth and West Ranch sixth. The boys results were the exact same as the first league meet.

The Vikings, who hosted the meet, were without No. 2 runner Chris Hernandez, who one month ago quit the team in order to play club soccer.

"I'd challenge Saugus if I had Hernandez," Valencia head coach Pat Connelly said. "It was a very strong meet, there's a lot of talent on all of the teams."

Anthony Pizzo of Canyon finished fourth (15:44). Valencia sophomore Falco DiGallonardo (15:45) finished just ahead of Saugus' Joey Eledge (15:46) for fifth. Sam Peckham (15:54), the fastest Hart runner, was seventh. He was followed by Kevin Heinemann of Saugus (15:57), Austin Veiga of Valencia (16:01) and Thomas McGuan of Canyon (16:03).

The Saugus girls team, the defending CIF-SS girls champion that was second in the nation last season, scored a perfect league meet in the girls competition, with all six scoring runners following each other.

Centurion runner Kaylin Mahoney won the race with her new personal-record time of 17 minutes, 7 seconds. Brianna Jauregui finished second (17:20), Anne Randall was third (17:38), followed by Courtney Wilson (17:52), Keri Molt (17:53) and Amber Murakami sixth (17:55).

"It was good to run on this course," Mahoney said. "The big races are all coming up. We're all getting really focused for postseason."

Mahoney referred to the Mt. SAC Invitational on Oct. 25 in Walnut, the site of the CIF-SS Prelims and CIF Finals. The Foothill League Finals are on Nov. 6 at Castaic Lake.

Bailey Miller of West Ranch was the next runner, in seventh (17:59). After the first mile mark, she was third behind Mahoney and Jauregui.

"I always try to keep up with them," Miller said of the Centurions. "They're the motivation. We'll catch up with them one day."


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