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Twinspiration

Brandon and Brianna Jauregui are helping Saugus achieve greatness

Posted: November 17, 2008 10:11 p.m.
Updated: November 18, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Brother and sister, fraternal twins, Brandon and Brianna Jauregui of the Saugus cross country team have led the Centurions to dominance, relying on each other for inspiration and support.

 
Saugus cross country runners Brandon and Brianna Jauregui were born two minutes apart.

Brandon is the older twin, born on May 4, 1991.

Ever since 2005, when the twins began running for the Centurions, both have been a big part in helping them become one of the top teams in the state.

"They've been part of a renaissance and turned the tide for our program," says Saugus cross country head coach Rene Paragas. "We weren't very good when they first came here. Now our girls team is among the greatest in our school's history. Our boys team is aiming to make it to state. They've been a big part of that."

The Saugus girls team is ranked No. 2 in the country. The boys are ranked No. 3 in the CIF-Southern Section Division II coaches poll.

"We both inspire each other," Brandon Jauregui says. "I love having her there. When I have a bad workout or something, she's there to tell me it's OK."

Both Jauregui twins, who grew up in Castaic and live in Saugus, did not particularly look at cross country as their first passion.

"If my brother didn't tell me to run, I probably wouldn't be experiencing everything that I have," Brianna says. "I wasn't going to do running. I did it for two weeks and I didn't like it. I didn't have the friends that I do now. I joined because my brother encouraged me and because my parents made me do an extracurricular activity."

Both athletes are the No. 2 runners on their teams and both are among the fastest three-milers in the CIF-Southern Section. At the Mt. San Antonio College Invitational on Saturday, Brianna Jauregui finished sixth overall in the Division II run with a time of 17 minutes, 51 seconds. Brandon was 11th (15:29).

Brandon ran for Castaic Middle School, but concentrated on three other sports also.

"I didn't know I'd be this good," he says.

Last season, Brianna was part of a team that finished second in the nation.

On Dec. 1, 2007, at the Nike Team Nationals, she ran her three-mile race and came in 61st in 20 minutes, 40.8 seconds. She also finished 15th with a time of 17:58 in the CIF-SS Finals, one of her best personal times.

Her brother also had a strong season, even though it ended with a bitter taste in his mouth. At the Division I CIF-SS Prelims, Jauregui finished 20th (15:55).

In the CIF-SS Prelims, the Centurions finished fifth. They were eight points away from qualifying for the CIF-SS Finals.

"We don't want that to happen again," Brandon says. "We're actually confident we can make it to state. There was more dedication in the summer. When we started running twice a day, everyone showed up."

That practice time has helped the Jauregui twins - and both teams - get better every season.

As a sophomore, Brianna started out as the girls team's No. 4 runner. The next season she moved up to No. 3 behind Katie Dunn and Kaylin Mahoney, before advancing to the No. 2 slot this season.

"I didn't have it in my head I'd be this good," Brianna says. "I've been running as hard as I can."

Brandon was the No. 3 runner on a boys team that finished fifth out of six teams his freshman year. He shot up to the No. 1 spot the past two seasons. This season, Brandon is battling it out with Alec Nelson.

"There's a consistency when you have a pair of twins," Paragas says. "You know you have a very good boy and a very good girl that are a cornerstone of your program. One-fifth of your team is from one family."

One of the best moments for the twins this season came at the Seaside Invitational, the first meet of the season, on Sept. 7 at San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura.

Both teens set lofty goals and met them. Brandon set a school record in his race, along with Nelson.

"A month before the race, (Brianna) said ‘I want to win the senior girls race,'" Brandon recalls. "She went out and did it (in 17:32). I said, ‘OK, it's my turn.'"

Still inspiring each other.

bbourquin@the-signal.com


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