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Foothill cross country: Starting line

Saugus teams win first meet

Posted: September 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Despite Saugus winning the race as a team, Canyon High's Zach Wims, front, was the individual winner at Central Park in the first Foothill League cross country boys race. Golden Valley runner Nolan Del Valle, behind, finished second.

Canyon’s Zach Wims knew if he could stay close to the leaders at the first Foothill League cross country meet on Thursday afternoon at Central Park he would have a chance to win down the stretch.

His strategy paid off, as Wims’ strong close sent him passed Golden Valley’s Nolan Del Valle to win the boys 3-mile run 15 minutes, 22.88 seconds to 15:25.03.

“When you’re running against two of the fastest kids in the state, you’re excited — not nervous,” Wims said. “I did what I thought I should do and stayed right behind them.”

As a team, though, the day belonged to Saugus, which finished first overall in both girls and boys.

After one league meet, the Saugus boys are 5-0 in league competition, with Golden Valley 4-1, Hart 3-2, Canyon 2-3, West Ranch 1-4 and Valencia 0-5.

The Saugus girls are 5-0, while Golden Valley is 4-1, West Ranch is 3-2, Canyon is 2-3, Valencia is 1-4 and Hart is 0-5.

The Centurions took third (Rodrigo Ornelas, 15:40.25) and fourth (A.J. Yarnall, 15:41.02) in the boys race individually, and had its five scoring runners finish in the top 13.

“We’re in a tough league,” said Saugus head coach George Serrano. “It’s tougher to get out of our league than to go from CIF prelims to CIF finals. I think we need to get stronger. More speed on the flats and in the hills.”

Del Valle, who led most of the race, wasn’t surprised Wims was able to catch him at the end.

“It went out slow; I expected that,” he said. “I made the move when we hit the first hill. I had a feeling once I made my move that I had a gap, but I knew he was there.”

In the girls race, things were never very close.

Golden Valley’s Chelsey Totten dominated the competition, winning the girls 3-mile run in 17:40.84, with Saugus’ Samantha Ortega (18:14.00) and Abigail Frankian (18:24.62) finishing in second and third.

“I didn’t really have a strategy. I was going to go off of what everyone else did,” Totten said. “I wanted to make things interesting so I decided at about 1,800 meters to take it hard.”

That proved to be the right decision, as Totten held off the pack for the win.

“This is a very big confidence builder,” she said. “I feel I’ve made an impression that I’m here to win. At first the heat kind of scared me because I tend to wilt under it.”

The runners ran in a blistering heat, with highs in Saugus reaching 102 degrees shortly before the first races of the day began.

But that didn’t stop Totten from pulling away.

“I know I’m a really strong runner, and I knew if I was willing to be tough and take the pain I could (win),” she said. “If you can’t take the pain, you shouldn’t be out here. You’re just wasting your time.”

Boys results

1. Zach Wims (Canyon) — 15:22.88

2. Nolan Del Valle (Golden Valley) — 15:25.03

3. Rodrigo Ornelas (Saugus) — 15:40.25

4. A.J. Yarnall (Saugus) — 15:41.02

5. Josh Sherfey (Hart) — 16:01.44

6. Brendan Tinoco (Golden Valley) — 16:03.44

7. Austin Fisher (Saugus) — 16:09.00

8. Alex Pearson (Saugus) — 16:12.94

9. Caleb McClain (Canyon) — 16:13.21

10. Tucker Welker (West Ranch) — 16:13.96

11. Andrew Orono (Hart) — 16:22.18

12. Arnold Bautista (Golden Valley) — 16:24.56

13. Cole Helm (Saugus) — 16:27.31

14. Max Gentner (Hart) — 16:28.94

15. Billy Anthony (Saugus) — 16:33.47

Girls results

1. Chelsey Totten (Golden Valley) — 17:40.84

2. Samantha Ortega (Saugus) — 18:14.00

3. Abigail Frankian (Saugus) — 18:24.62

4. Bianca Tinoco (Golden Valley) — 18:31.50

5. Madeline Dignadice (Valencia) — 18:34.25

6. Olivia Altieri (Saugus) — 18:36.50

7. Marisa Magsarili (West Ranch) — 18:44.34

8. Olivia Pear (Valencia) — 18:50.91

9. Abby Buckhoff (Golden Valley) — 18:58.00

10. Taylor Welker (West Ranch) — 19:06.34

11. Darby LaPlant (Saugus) — 19:11.25

12. Nina Sassano (Saugus) — 19:16.72

13. Madison Hills (Canyon) — 19:22.38

14. Lindsey Jakeman (Canyon) — 19:26.28

15. Alex Hill (Saugus) — 19:27.06


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