Saugus after winning the individual sweepstakes and JV nationals titles
The Saugus girls’ performance on Saturday morning, despite the amount of inexperience most of the squad had in big-time races, was not just thrilling to watch, it was extraordinary beyond measure.
Although the five-time defending California state and Southern Section champions didn’t get the chance to square off with national powerhouse programs Simi Valley and La Costa Canyon, their efforts in the individual sweepstakes was on par with both teams, who competed in the team sweepstakes race on Saturday.
On a day when Golden Valley’s Kristian Martinez ran 14 minutes, 50 seconds to break Dave Hartman’s Santa Clarita Valley record and Karis Frankian of Saugus charged to a 17:12 win, a time only two others have run faster than in valley history, the Foothill League racked up several note-worthy plaques, beginning with the junior varsity national championship the Saugus girls won in fine style.
Great Oak of Temecula, the two-time defending champions, may have been just eight points behind the Lady Centurions, but the performance by the junior varsity team was one of the best of the meet. There team time of 94:53 broke their own JV record by seven seconds and was tenth fastest of the meet, regardless of level; while Abigail Frankian’s individual win, the fifth time both Frankian sisters have been victorious on the same occasion, shattered teammate Jenay Jauregui’s 2009 individual junior varsity national championship record of 18:37. The new record now stands at an impressive 18:31. In the five-year history of the Junior Varsity National Championships, only Saugus has held the individual record, while four of the five individual champions and three of the five team championships also hail from Saugus.
Junior Nina Sassano and senior Jessica McCall finished second and fourth, while teammates Lizzy Nelson and Alex Reed, both seniors, anchored the team in fourteenth and twentieth place, setting up another possible team sweep for the powerful Saugus squad on a warm morning.
Lead by Frankian’s individual win, Saugus put four runners in the top fourteen to win their fifth Mt. SAC sweepstakes title in six years. Frankian trailed Colony’s Xochitl Navarrete. but finally pulled away in the final 600 meters, coming down Reservoir Hill, to prevail in 17:12. That mark ranks her #3 all-time in Santa Clarita, behind former teammate Kaylin Mahoney (17:01) and Shannon Murakami (17:08) and also broke Murakami’s 2006 SCV senior class record by a second. Her winning time was also the second fastest of the meet, only trailing defending state division one champion Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley. The standout remains undefeated this cross country season.
While Frankian cruised out front, her fellow teammates followed head coach Rene Paragas’s race plan perfectly, forming a pack early and never relinquishing it. In the end, Jenay Jauregui, Katie Huntington and Jordan McCall finished twelfth through fourteenth, while Tiffany West, Heidi Hoslet and Emily McCarty sealed the deal for Saugus. The Lady Cents performance on Saturday morning was just one of the many impressive ones, including the Golden Valley boys in the team sweepstakes.
Although the Grizzlies had some key players under perform, as a team they truly were golden, starting with Martinez’s individual performance. His 14:50 third place finish broke the twenty-one-year-old SCV all-time and senior class record formerly held by Canyon High’s Dave Hartman, quite an accomplishment considering Hartman is arguably the greatest high school male harrier in valley history. Not far behind, in 15:02, was teammate Juan David Garcia. The senior’s finishing results rank him #7 on the SCV all-time list, a huge accomplishment for Garcia, although he believes and is planning on going even faster when the Southern Section Finals arrive in mid-November this fall.
While Martinez and Garcia lead the group up front, Aaron Nguyen had “his best race ever,” according to his coaches, Nolan Del Valle, the teams usual #3 runner, had an off day and Brendan Tinoco, Gabe Levy and Carlos Lopez were solid. Nguyen and Del Valle finished thirty-fifth and thirty-seventh with Tinoco taking fiftieth, helping the team to a third place finish with 129 points, four points behind reigning national champions Arcadia High and forty-seven behind California’s #1 division one ranked team in Rancho Cucamonga. The Grizzlies did come home with a gold medal though, winning the division two team sweeps title, well-ahead of defending state champs Loyola High and La Costa Canyon High.
The Saugus girls and Golden Valley boys weren’t the only winners from the Santa Clarita Valley on Saturday. Two boys teams and one girls team left the meet victorious, headlined by Saugus’ junior varsity division two national championship, ahead of Loyola High.
Although the young team finished sixth overall in the event, the performances by Rodrigo Ornelas (16:43), Parker Jones (16:50), Alex Pearson (16:52), Cole Helm (16:57) and Tyler Lomeli (17:01) was enough to won. The win was quite a surprise for the squad, but sets them up nicely for possible Foothill League titles at the frosh/soph and junior varsity levels in eleven days. Anthony Janaslani (17:08) and Anthony Rosales (17:40) rounded out the team on Saturday morning.
The other boys team to win gold at the sixty-fourth annual meet was the Hart High boys, who received solid performances from seniors Sam Peckham and Austin O’Neil. Both individuals finished under the sixteen-minute barrier, leading the Indians past three Bay League programs in Redondo Union, Peninsula and Mira Costa. Junior Billy Walker and Josh Sherfey, freshman Mac Kaufman and Ruben Rubira and senior Sean Scofield helped the team to a 14-point win as well.
The Valencia girls team competed without junior Maddie Dignadice, who sat out of the meet due to injury, but that didn’t stop the Vikings from winning, eleven points ahead of Carlsbad. Junior Arianna Michaels took over the reins for the young team, finishing third individually in the second fastest mark in school history, only trailing recent graduate Sarah Adam’s 18:02 run at last year’s invitational. Meanwhile, teammates Olivia Pear (19:17), Lindsay Garcia (19:20) and Amelia Pear (19:39) provided Valencia with an impressive one through five gap, which they will certainly benefit from when Dignadice returns, most likely at the Foothill League Championships on November 3. Senior Brooklyn Beeler (20:06) was the teams #5 runner, sealing the win for the Vikings on Saturday.
Two other significant performances on Saturday were from the Saugus duo of AJ Yarnell and Daniel Tuit. Yarnell blazed to a 15:12 third place finish in the individual sweepstakes race, ranking him #2 all-time in program history, only behind Daren Stonerock. Tuit, meanwhile, continues to improve dramatically, running a sensational 15:45 to take fifteenth against some of the state’s finest. Yarnell and Tuit’s marks were the third and fourth fastest of the day among Foothill League competition.
Top 30 SCV performances at the 2011 Mt. SAC Invitational:
1. Kristian Martinez – Golden Valley – 14:50
2. Juan David Garcia – Golden Valley – 15:03
3. AJ Yarnell – Saugus – 15:12
4. Daniel Tuit – Saugus – 15:45
5. Aaron Nguyen – Golden Valley – 15:46
6. Nolan Del Valle – Golden Valley – 15:48
7. Zach Wims – Canyon – 15:48
8. Sam Peckham – Hart – 15:53
9. Austin O’Neil – Hart – 15:59
10. Brendan Tinoco – Golden Valley – 16:03
11. David Mori – Valencia – 16:04
12. Gabe Levy – Golden Valley – 16:11
13. Billy Walker – Hart – 16:17
14. Mac Kaufman – Hart – 16:21
15. Robert Yuwiler – Saugus – 16:25
16. Carlos Lopez – Golden Valley – 16:27
17. Jeffrey Black – West Ranch – 16:33
18. David Peterson – Valencia – 16:38
19. Cody Janson – Saugus – 16:40
20. Joe Foote – Saugus – 16:41
21. Sean Scofield – Hart – 16:42
22. Chris Conrad – Canyon – 16:43
23. Rodrigo Ornelas – Saugus – 16:43
24. Josh Sherfey – Hart – 16:47
25. Parker Jones – Saugus – 16:50
26. Ruben Rubira – Hart – 16:51
27. Jason Hillquist – Canyon – 16:52
28. Alex Pearson – Saugus – 16:52
29. Alex Allevato – Valencia – 16:53
30. Austin Fisher – Saugus – 16:54
1. Karis Frankian – Saugus – 17:12
2. Jenay Jauregui – Saugus – 18:13
3. Katie Huntington – Saugus – 18:14
4. Jordan McCall – Saugus – 18:21
5. Abigail Frankian – Saugus – 18:31
6. Nina Sassano – Saugus – 18:36
7. Arianna Michaels – Valencia – 18:39
8. Chelsey Totten – Golden Valley – 18:45
9. Jessica McCall – Saugus – 18:55
10. Tiffany West – Saugus – 19:04
11. Heidi Hoslet – Saugus – 19:07
12. Madison Hills – Canyon – 19:07
13. Samantha Phillips – West Ranch – 19:09
14. Emily McCarty – Saugus – 19:17
15. Olivia Pear – Valencia – 19:17
16. Lindsay Garcia – Valencia – 19:20
17. Lizzy Nelson – Saugus – 19:22
18. Alex Reed – Saugus – 19:29
19. Augustina Hansen Hart 19:31
20. Valerie Soto – Canyon – 19:34
21. Jenna Vincej – Saugus – 19:39
22. Amelia Pear Valencia 19:39
23. Natalie Rodriguez – Canyon – 19:40
24. Abby Buckhoff – Golden Valley – 19:45
25. Shalyn Mabritto – Canyon – 19:49
26. Lindsay Jakeman – Canyon – 19:56
27. Brooklyn Beeler – Valencia – 20:06
28. Callie Hallman – Saugus – 20:17
29. Maggie Phillips – West Ranch – 20:22