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Good showing at XC Prelims

Saugus, Golden Valley boys teams advance to CIF-SS finals

Posted: November 15, 2008 11:14 p.m.
Updated: November 16, 2008 4:55 a.m.

The Saugus girls cross country team continued their six-year run of excellence Saturday, winning its heat in the CIF-Southern Section Division II Prelims at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.

The boys team, taking a more rushed route, qualified for the first time in 10 years.

And Golden Valley has a chance at starting a run of its own, as it qualified in the Division III boys race for the first time in team history.

The Centurion girls team won its heat in Division II competition to qualify for Saturday's CIF-SS Finals at Mt. SAC. It was the sixth season in a row the Saugus girls have qualified for the finals.

Canyon's girls team also qualified with 92 points, finishing fourth in its Division II heat. That was the third time in the past five years the Cowboys girls team qualified, including last season.

West Ranch also qualified, as the only Division I-A school from the area to compete in the prelims and advance to the finals. The Wildcats finished third in their first time competing in a CIF meet in their three-year team history.

As of Saturday night, all times were unofficial. The results on the CIF-SS site were not available as of press time.

Saugus sophomore runner Kaylin Mahoney won the girls race with an unofficial time of 17 minutes, 39 seconds. Keri Molt finished fourth in 18:19, followed a step or two behind by Karis Frankian, who was fifth (18:20). Courtney Wilson was next for Saugus (18:53), followed by Alex Hampton (19:09).

Due in part to Saturday's fires in the Sylmar area that closed both the 5 and 14 freeways, every local team had to take alternate routes to get to Walnut. Some teams could see fires in the Orange County area, but it was not smoky on the course.

For the Saugus boys, that meant arriving at approximately 8:30 a.m. for their 8:41 a.m. race.

"We were lucky to make it to our race on time," said Saugus cross country head coach Rene Paragas. "Our warmup was going from the bus to the bathrooms, up through the stadium and onto the starting line. It was tough for us, but we did the best we could. We didn't want to make any excuses, we just wanted to qualify. We got the job done."

Brandon Jauregui finished second in his heat with a time of 15:43. He was closely followed by Saugus teammate Alec Nelson, who finished fourth (15:54). Joey Eledge came in 17th (16:18), Logan Smith was 39th (16:52) and Kevin Heinemann finished 44th (16:59).

The deep Centurion girls team did not field its full roster. Anne Randall, Brianna Jauregui and Amber Murakami did not run. However, all three are slated to run in Saturday's CIF-SS Finals.

"We probably ran our poorest race of the season," Paragas said. "But we weren't trying to win, we were trying to qualify. We only ran three varsity runners. It's not like we ran our full team."

On Saturday in Walnut, the Saugus girls will look to make it three CIF-Southern Section championships in a row. They won the Division I race last season and will now run in the Div. II race.

"I ran what I was supposed to," Mahoney said. "I had a plan. I was told by my coach to stay with the top runner, then close out the last mile at 5:30. That's what I did."

The fires affected several runners, but more so before their races.

"It was totally a factor," Mahoney said. "We had 10 minutes to warm up. We were a little rushed, but I guess it didn't really affect us too much."

The boys must place among the top seven teams Saturday in order to qualify for the CIF State Cross Country Championships Nov. 29 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Saugus has qualified for the state boys meet twice in team history.

The Grizzlies finished second in their heat and fourth overall, with a team time of 82 minutes, 28 seconds.

They also arrived later than expected, about an hour before their 10:17 a.m. race. Golden Valley wanted to arrive at 7:30 a.m.

"Our kids stayed focused and they ran well," said Grizzlies co-head coach Rob Evans. "Our kids are really excited for next week. We have such a young team. We're looking forward to it."

Golden Valley, ranked seventh in the CIF-SS Division III coaches poll, finished ahead of Orange Lutheran, ranked sixth.

Seth Totten crossed the finish line third in his heat in 15:29. Freshman Danny Carrillo bounced right back off of being disqualified in the Foothill League finals on Nov. 6. Carrillo finished 14th in the heat (16:28).

Johnny Tapia was right on his heels in 15th (16:29), followed by Gabe Vazquez (16:55) and Elie Buotros.

"It's exciting. We're ready to go," Totten said. "We didn't think we ran that well, so we're excited to see what we can do."

The Hart boys and Canyon girls team both arrived less than 30 minutes prior to their starting times, which were between 8:41 a.m. and 10 a.m.

On the course, the temperatures reached as high as the lower- to mid-90s. The West Ranch girls team ran the Division I-A competition on a two-mile course, versus the originally planned three-mile run.

Canyon, ranked ninth in the Division II coaches poll, finished three points behind Ayala, ranked 10th.
Alyssa Selve finished fifth in her heat (18:56), and Hayley Parkinson was the sixth-place runner (19:04). Jessica Gatton, Hannah Filas and Gillian Lopez followed the top two, respectively.

"We felt like our numbers one and two could just go," said Canyon head coach Paul Broneer. "They were making sure they made it as individuals, in case we couldn't make it as a team. That's what they did ... we're on the bubble, so we're going to have to run better in the finals."

Hart's boys team could not qualify, finishing sixth overall in its heat. The Indians had to finish among the top four teams in their heat in order to qualify for the finals.

West Ranch's Bailey Miller (ninth, 12:57) was first for the team. She was followed by Ashley Welker (11th, 13:00), Jennifer Owen (16th, 13:10) and Samantha Phillips (29th, 13:33).

Konrad Antoniuk, Sam Peckham and Anthony Soto each finished among the top 14 in the heat. But neither was able to qualify as one of the top six individual runners to advance to the finals.

Antoniuk (10th, 16:04), Peckham (11th, 16:08) and Soto (14th, 16:12) came in strong. But the depth just wasn't there for Hart. Angel Provincia finished 44th (16:58) and Austin O'Neil (17:08) also finished strong.


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