Maybe Karis Frankian blazed through Ventura’s 3-mile course Friday afternoon because she wanted to repeat her victory in 2008, when she set the still-standing freshman course record of 17 minutes, 28 seconds.
Or maybe she felt like she had some unfinished business to take care of against Palos Verdes senior Rebecca Mehra, the 2009 California Division 3 state cross country champion and Nike Cross Nationals bronze medalist.
Although both are strong possibilities, Frankian’s stunning performance meant much more than another win at the famed Seaside Invitational or a long-awaited triumph over her friendly rival. Her individual victory was for her Saugus High teammates, past and present. It was a wake-up call to those teams looking to challenge the Lady Centurions in November’s CIF Southern Section and California State Championships. A big “take that critics” to those cross country fans that doubted Saugus’ ability to reload in time for a state championship six-peat attempt in two and a half months.
On a day that saw great suspense in every race, new and old talent was showcased at the Seaside Invitational on a warm, breezy day in Ventura.
In the freshman race, Hart High phenom Augustina Hansen saw her title hopes end after making a wrong turn due to the lead bikers mistake with just 200 meters remaining. Less than 20 minutes later, Frankian’s sophomore sister, Abigail, took a horrifying fall that looked to end her golden hopes as well. However, the younger Frankian got back to her feet and despite deep bruises, blood and tired legs, the standout won the race by four seconds.
The junior race was special, as well. Valencia’s Maddie Dignadice, who burst into the elite scene after personal bests of 5:14 and 11:07 for 1,600 and 3,200 meters this spring, ran away from the field, winning in the third fastest time of the day, behind the older Frankian and PV’s Mehra.
The final girls race of the day featured three 2010 all-state cross country runners in Frankian, Mehra and Saugus senior Jenay Jauregui. Immediately after the gun went off, Frankian and Mehra put nearly 100 meters on the rest of the field in a battle between three of the state’s best. Jauregui, who suffered from a difficult start, pulled into third just before the first mile marker, and began to close quickly.
With 800 meters remaining, the win was locked up for Frankian and became a race against the clock, her winning time of 17:06 truly legendary. Karis and Abigail Frankian become the third family in school history to win more than one Seaside title in the same year (Shannon and Amber Murakami in 2006, Brandon and Brianna Jauregui in 2006 and 2008). Behind two-time champion Frankian, Jauregui still had a lot of work to do on a fading Mehra, who held at least a 100-meter gap with just 800 meters to go. The former Junior Varsity National Cross Country Champion came “oh, so close.” Her best finish ever wasn’t enough on Mehra as she crossed third in 17:45 to Mehra’s 17:42.
In the junior and senior races, the Foothill League completely dominated, with seven in the top 10 in the junior race and 10 in the top 13 in the senior race. Team-wise, the five-time defending state, Southern Section and Foothill League champions in Saugus High had a stellar seven under 18:30 and 11 under 19 minutes. Their team time of 89:34 is #3 all-time in meet history, only behind the Saugus girls team of 2007 and 2008, and gave them first place (51st straight win for the varsity team) by over three minutes over state-ranked Trabuco Hills and Palos Verdes, while a much improved Valencia girls team also set a school record.
Insane Depth for Foothill League Ladies
In a field that didn’t include 5:07/10:56 standout Jessica McCall of Saugus High or Hart High freshman phenom Ausgustina Hansen, who made a wrong turn after leading with just 200 meters remaining, the Foothill League is completely insane on the girls side. Below is the top 30 fastest Foothill League performers at Friday’s meet. One other major name missing from the ranks is West Ranch High sophomore sensation Taylor Welker, who blasted the third fastest freshman 1,600-meter time (5:06) in Santa Clarita Valley history just four months ago. The results here clearly show what can happen if a runner has an off day like the younger Welker did.
Taylor, who ranked ninth in this fall’s Foothill League Pre-Season Cross Country Rankings, was nowhere near her best, finishing 46th (20:30) in the sophomore girls race. That time ranks the young star the 33rd Foothill League runner in yesterday’s deep results. Talk about insane depth.
As for the Saugus girls, too bad they can’t run more than seven in the varsity race in Foothill League competition. The five-time defending state champions lost six of their top nine runners due to graduation in June; however, not surprisingly, the deep squad reloaded quickly and are on a quest towards a rare state championship six-peat, something no team in California history has ever pulled off. The Lady Cents had 16 of the top 30 fastest performances of Foothill League runners yesterday and are so insanely deep, their 15th best runner, Callie Hallman, would of been Valencia High’s seventh runner on a varsity squad expected to finish second in the Foothill League this fall. So deep are the Centurions this fall, you could take out the teams top seniors in Frankian, Jauregui, McCall, McCarty and Vincej and score just their underclassmen: Saugus still wins 92:08 to Trabuco Hill’s 93:01, which bodes well for next year’s cross country season.
SCV Competitors – Seniors
* Karis Frankian – Saugus – Senior – 17:06 – 1st
* Jenay Jauregui – Saugus – Senior – 17:45 – 3rd
* Jordan McCall – Saugus – Senior – 18:18 – 5th
* Arianna Michaels – Valencia – Senior – 18:20 – 6th
* Emily McCarty – Saugus – Senior – 18:22 – 7th
* Ashley Welker – West Ranch – Senior – 18:30 – 8th
* Samantha Phillips – West Ranch – Senior- 18:32 – 9th
* Jenna Vincej – Saugus – Senior – 18:41 – 11th
* Lindsey Garcia – Valencia – Senior – 18:48 – 12th
* Alex Reed – Saugus – Senior – 18:50 – 13th
* Lizzy Nelson – Saugus – Senior – 19:11 – 17th
* Brooklyn Beeler – Valencia – Senior – 19:25 – 26th
* Abbie Gunning – Hart – Senior – 19:34 – 28th
* Francesca Bosnoyan – Saugus – Senior – 19:37 – 30th
SCV Competitors – Juniors
* Maddie Dignadice – Valencia – Junior – 17:43 – 1st
* Katie Huntington – Saugus – Junior – 18:11 – 3rd
* Heidi Hoslet – Saugus – Junior – 18:14 – 4th
* Nina Sassano – Saugus – Junior – 18:32 – 5th
* Tiffany West – Saugus – Junior – 18:43 – 8th
* Madison Hills – Canyon – Junior – 18:45 – 9th
* Olivia Pear – Valencia – Junior – 18:46 – 10th
* Callie Hallman – Saugus – Junior – 20:05 – 43nd
SCV Competitors – Sophomores
* Abigail Frankian – Saugus – Sophomore – 18:28 – 1st
* Abbie Phillips – West Ranch – Sophomore – 19:26 – 14th
* Amanda DeJesus – Saugus – Sophomore – 19:42 – 21st
* Lexi Whitman – Valencia – Sophomore – 19:51 – 23rd
* Natalie Rodriguez – Canyon – Sophomore – 19:57 – 25th
* Shalyn Mabritto – Canyon – Sophomore – 19:57 – 26th
SCV Competitors – Freshmen
* Amelia Pear – Valencia – Freshman – 19:24 – 2nd
* Darby LaPlant – Saugus – Freshman – 20:01 – 7th