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Foothill cross country: The strong survive

With many key runners out from other teams, Saugus rules the day

Posted: October 16, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 16, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Saugus sophomore Samantha Ortega wins Foothill League cross country race No. 2 on Monday at Central Park.

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It was an unusually thin field running on an unusual day of the week.

But on Monday’s Foothill League cross country meet, the second of the year, the results were nothing out of the ordinary at Central Park.

Saugus won the boys race and dominated the girls race led by individual victories from senior A.J. Yarnall on the boys side and sophomore Samantha Ortega in girls.

The Centurions won both team races for the second straight league meet, and this time it took place four days later than the race was originally scheduled.

It was postponed Thursday due to heavy rain.

“There was no pre-meeting or anything,” said Saugus head coach Rene Paragas. “You’ve just got to come out Monday ready to run.”

In the girls race, Ortega separated from the field in the second half of the race and finished in 17 minutes, 37.22 seconds to outpace junior teammate Abigail Frankian, who took second in 18:04.34.

It helped Saugus easily beat second-place West Ranch 19-39.

The Wildcats were led by the third-place finish of sophomore Marisa Magsarili, who finished in 18:11.91. She outran Valencia’s Olivia Pear, who crossed in 18:12.37 for fourth place.

“The race doesn’t always go to the swift,” said West Ranch head coach Rick Larimore of the postponement. “Time and chance are what matters most sometimes.”

In this case, the Centurions took advantage of numerous contending runners who were absent for various reasons.

The Golden Valley girls, which took second in the first Foothill race last month, was missing its top three runners, including last month’s league individual winner Chelsey Totten. She and her sister Weslie Totten were out of town on a recruiting trip, according to Grizzlies head coach Marc Minasian.

Golden Valley was also without Bianca Tinoco, who came down with the flu.

Valencia’s top girls runner Maddie Dignadice and Canyon’s No. 1 Madison Hills also had to miss the race.

When all was said and done, the Valencia girls took third, Canyon was fourth, Golden Valley fifth and Hart sixth.

In the boys race, Golden Valley finished second for the second straight league race after the Centurions won the matchup 24-33 thanks to putting all five of its scoring runners in the top 11.

Saugus took the top two spots with Yarnall edging out his teammate Rodrigo Ornelas in the last few hundred meters. Yarnall came across in 15:23.59 and Ornelas followed in 15:24.72.

Both runners made moves late to pull away from a pack of five runners who had been close for the majority of the race.

“I just came down that final hill and said, ‘If I’m going to win, I’m going to treat this like a runway and just kind of shoot off it,” Yarnall said.

The senior had been dealing with a quadricep injury since midway through the summer and said he was unsure if he’d be able to reach 100 percent at this point in the season.

“Being able to get back into shape that quickly is really big, mentally and physically,” he said.

After Golden Valley, it was Canyon in third after beating fourth-place Hart by a single point. West Ranch took fifth and Valencia was sixth.

Not far behind the two Saugus finishers were Golden Valley senior Nolan Del Valle (third, 15:26.75) and Hart’s Josh Sherfey (fourth, 15:31.41).

Canyon’s Zach Wims took fifth in 15:43.62 after winning the first Foothill race on Sept. 20.

Boys results

1. A.J. Yarnall (Saugus) — 15:23.59

2. Rodrigo Ornelas (Saugus) — 15:24.72

3. Nolan Del Valle (Golden Valley) — 15:26.75

4. Josh Sherfey (Hart) — 15:31.41

5. Zach Wims (Canyon) — 15:43.62

6. Brendan Tinoco (Golden Valley) — 15:45.50

7. Arnold Bautista (Golden Valley) — 15:48.31

8. Austin Fisher (Saugus) — 15:53.53

9. Alex Pearson (Saugus) — 15:54.50

10. Tucker Welker (West Ranch) — 15:55.56

11. Anthony Janaslani (Saugus) — 15:56.28

12. Alex Allevato (Valencia) — 15:58.81

13. Andrew Orona (Hart) — 15:59.87

14. Billy Anthony (Saugus) — 16:03.66

15. Timothy Garcia (Golden Valley) — 16:04.24

Girls results

1. Samantha Ortega (Saugus) — 17:37.22

2. Abigail Frankian (Saugus) — 18:04.34

3. Marisa Magsarili (West Ranch) — 18:11.91

4. Olivia Pear (Valencia) — 18:12.37

5. Nina Sassano (Saugus) — 18:15.97

6. Olivia Altieri (Saugus) — 18:24.91

7. Taylor Welker (West Ranch) — 18:28.56

8. Soto Valeria (Canyon) — 18:29.18

9. Ashley Heys (Saugus) — 18:30.43

10. Abby Buckhoff (Golden Valley) — 18:36.31

11. Jakeman Lindsey (Canyon) — 18:46.91

12. Megan Leonhardt (West Ranch) — 18:48.78

13. Darby LaPlant (Saugus) — 18:51.81

14. Maggie Phillips (West Ranch) — 18:54.81

15. Alex Hill (Saugus) — 18:55.43


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