Five future history-making moments for Santa Clarita Valley runners in 2020 are under threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. SAUGUS GIRLS – We’re witnessing the biggest showdown in SCV history right now, and that showdown features the Lady Centurions against arguably the most valuable thing in the world – time. For the first time in history, the Saugus girls goal isn’t to finish first. At stake is one of the SCV’s most impressive feats in sports, as all three streaks of Foothill League XC team championships (16 straight frosh/soph titles, 15 straight varsity & JV titles), as well at Saugus’ record for most years qualifying for state (15 years in a down!), is on the line. It’s true the expiration date for this one is the farthest away, but let’s face the reality – the coronavirus situation isn’t improving.
2. NICK SERRANO – No male has ever won three Foothill League distance titles in a row. Not the Stonerock twins in the ’80s, or Dave Hartman in the ’90s, or even Brian Zabilski last decade. That all changed when sophomore Nick Serrano upset the runners field to win over four laps at last year’s finals. In early March, Serrano’s biggest threat was Golden Valley’s 800-meter star Antonio Abrego, and was a big “if” Abrego attempts the daunting 1600/800 double in May’s finale. A new competitor has entered the conversation since then, though, and its name is COVID-19. Serrano’s bid to become the first male in SCV history to pull off the three-peat seems less and less likely as the days pass by, but we’re holding onto hope.
3. ANTONIO ABREGO – This was supposed to be Antonio Abrego’s moment after spending two years in Kai Wingo’s shadow … The Golden Valley junior was arguably this valley’s biggest athlete to watch (YES, more than Solomon Sharader) and was projected to challenge Wingo’s SCV 800-meter record, which isn’t even a year-old. That historic record saw the Valencia grad run 1:51.71 to win state and cap off an undefeated season over two laps. Abrego’s season may be highlighted by his Winter Champs win and SCV HS record over 600 meters, but we’re glad he has another year to build strength and make his senior campaign that much historic. Rooting for you, dude.
4. SETH TOTTEN – The SCV record-holder in the half and full marathon distances was a no-show at last month’s Olympic Marathon Trials (he and his wife gave birth to their first child leading up) and was expected to make his Boston Marathon debut in a month, possibly setting up another shot at breaking his own valley record of 2:14:28. Of course, Boston, like every other event around the world, has been postponed until the fall, so the wait for his next race continues.
5. GRACE-GRAHAM ZAMUDIO – Grace, arguably one of the most underrated distance runners in SCV history, has broken the SCV record over 10,000 meters on three different occasions, and all at the Mt. SAC Relays after a lights-out race to qualify for the Pan-American XC Games, I began to question whether or not she’d make it four times at next month’s event. Her record still stands at 33:46.98, but it’s very unlikely the SCV will witness this moment, at least not in 2020.