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SCVNews.com | Hart’s Peckham Leads in Boys Cross-Country | 09-11-2011
Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 27
1542 - Explorer Juan Cabrillo sets sail from Mexico; will stop for a drink at mouth of Santa Clara River [story]

Hart High’s Sam Peckham finally returned to the top of the Foothill League. AJ Yarnell continued his young Saugus High career in brilliant fashion. As for the rest of the Foothill League? Well, they still seem be one of the deepest in the state of California.

Five-time defending Foothill League champions Saugus, 2006 Foothill League champs Canyon and Valencia also ran respectively, despite heavy losses due to graduation earlier this year.

While several performances stood out at Friday afternoon’s Seaside Invitational, the best didn’t come from former league champions in the Cowboys or the present kings of Santa Clarita Valley cross country in the Centurions. The day belonged to 2005 Foothill League champions Hart High. Highlighted by a 6-7-8 finish in the senior race, the team had five runners finish under 16-minute barrier, a feat no other Foothill League team came close to.

Individually, Peckham was the story of the day. Last fall, the standout won the first Foothill League meet at Castaic Lake over a tough opponent in Golden Valley’s Kristian Martinez. However, a disappointing eighth-place finish at the second league meet, a few weeks later, made it clear something was wrong. When Peckham didn’t show up on the starting line at the Foothill League Finals in November, the news spread quickly. Peckham, the fastest freshman 3,200-meter runner in 2009, had been stopped by a stress fracture and wouldn’t be competing the rest of the cross country season, as well as the upcoming 2011 track season.

The senior made it clear he’ll be a favorite at this fall’s league finals, though. On Friday, he led the Santa Clarita Valley assault, finishing sixth in the senior race, his time of 15 minutes, 10 seconds among the best times ever run at Seaside by a Foothill League runner. Behind the two-time Foothill League 3,200-meter bronze medalist, teammates Austin O’Neil and Gerardo Granados also had outstanding efforts, taking spots seven and eight in new personal records of 15:22 and 15:25. Juniors Josh Sherfey and Billy Walker finished 10th and 14th, running all-time bests of 15:41 and 15:59 to anchor the Indians to a stellar team performance.

In the junior race, four other Foothill League competitors represented their schools quite well. Saugus’ AJ Yarnell, who set sophomore school records at Mt. San Antonio College, Woodward Park and over 1,600 meters last school year, was involved in an intense battle against Naoki Omatsu of Trabuco Hills. It was the Trabuco Hills junior prevailing, though, 15:08 to Yarnell’s solid 15:18, joining teammate Robert Yuwiler (15:53) as the only two Centurions to break 16 minutes.

Meanwhile, Canyon junior Zach Wims was a man among boys, finishing in a huge personal best of 15:32, showing his local competitors he should indeed be a force to be reckoned with when Foothill League competition begins in a week and a half.  Two fairly inexperienced varsity members, Valencia High junior David Peterson and West Ranch’s Jeffery Black, enjoyed some success as well. Peterson crossed in 16:05, while Black, last year’s frosh/soph Foothill League champion, was sensational, finishing in 16:06, the fastest three-mile time on the Seaside course, run by a Wildcat, since Carter Welker ran 16:37 in 2008.

SCV Competitors – Seniors

* Sam Peckham – Hart – Senior – 15:10 – 6th

* Austin O’Neil – Hart – Senior – 15:22 – 7th

* Gerardo Granados – Hart – Senior – 15:25 – 8th

* Robert Yuwiler – Saugus – Senior – 15:53 – 24th

* Cody Janson – Saugus – Senior – 16:00 – 28th

* David Mori – Valencia – Senior – 16:06 – 32nd

* Kyle Swinehart – Saugus – Senior – 16:18 – 38th

* Joe Ludwig – West Ranch – Senior – 16:23 – 42nd

* Tyler Dimson – Valencia – Senior – 16:30 – 55th

* Chase Wheeler – Valencia – Senior – 16:31 – 58th

* Sean Schofield – Hart – Senior – 16:37 – 65th

* Chris Conrad – Canyon – Senior – 16:37 – 66th

* Parker Jones – Saugus – Senior – 16:39 – 67th

* Michael Bailey – Canyon – Senior – 16:40 – 70th

SCV Competitors – Juniors

* AJ Yarnell – Saugus – Junior – 15:18 – 2nd

* Zach Wims – Canyon – Junior – 15:32 – 8th

* Josh Sherfey – Hart – Junior – 15:41 – 10th

* Billy Walker – Hart – Junior – 15:59 – 14th

* David Peterson – Valencia – Junior – 16:05 – 15th

* Jeffrey Black – West Ranch – Junior – 16:06 – 16th

* Joe Foote – Saugus – Junior – 16:11 – 20th

* Joel Estrada – Canyon – Junior – 16:29 – 35th

* Austin Fisher – Saugus – Junior 16:38 – 39th

* Ramon Gutierrez – West Ranch – Junior – 16:44 – 46th

SCV Competitors – Sophomores

* Adam Driedger – Canyon – Sophomore – 16:20 – 9th

* Alex Allevato – Valencia – Sophomore – 16:30 – 11th

* Jason Hillquist – Canyon – Sophomore – 16:32 – 12th

* Kevin Scofield – Hart – Sophomore – 16:46 – 18th

SCV Competitors – Freshmen

* Rubin Rivera – Hart – Freshman – 16:23 – 6th

* Mac Kaufman – Hart – Freshman – 16:30 – 7th

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