West Ranch, Saugus boys XC qualify for state meet
West Ranch's Timothy Sterkel comes to finish line boys Division 2. Dan Watson/ The Signal
By Haley Sawyer
Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Earning a trip to the state championship at the CIF-Southern Section cross country finals in Riverside Saturday was a sweet victory for both West Ranch and Saugus boys teams, but the achievement meant a little more to the Wildcats.

It’s the first time in seven years that the Cats will be represented at the state level.

The team finished in sixth place in Division 2, clocking in at one hour, 17 minutes and 50 seconds, earning them 219 team points. Saugus finished immediately after with a time of 1:18:15 and 259 points.

The top seven teams advance.

“I have a lot of respect for the Saugus program,” said West Ranch coach Sara Soltani. “They’ve always been able to push through adversity. They have a very great program and I will never deny that. I want our (Foothill) league to be the best. I want us all to represent at the state meet.”

MORE: Saugus girls XC breaks tie for trip to state meet

Despite the state-qualifying finish, it was one of West Ranch’s worst performances of the season.

“It was definitely one of the most disappointing races of the year,” said Cats runner Justin Sherfey. “We’re going to move on to state and (think) nothing about this race. Think about what we need to do next week.”

Sherfey and Isaiah Seidman were the top two finishers for the Wildcats, coming in 36th (15:27.6) and 37th (15:28.5), respectively, out of a field of 171 runners.

Boon Andrews was top for the Cents, coming in 23rd at 15:16.8.

The heat and dustiness of the 3-mile Riverside City Cross Country Course may have contributed to lower-than-usual times for runners.

“The dust and the heat really affected us more than we thought it did,” said Sherfey, a senior. “It was really tightly packed in the first mile, everything gets really congested. It’s tight and dusty. It’s just a slow atmosphere.”

Nonetheless, West Ranch pulled through and ran as a team. Soltani, in her first year at West Ranch, shouted directions and encouragement and saw her team respond accordingly.

The Saugus boys celebrate after learning of their state-qualifying finish. Dan Watson/Signal
The Saugus boys celebrate after learning of their state-qualifying finish. Dan Watson/Signal

“I was yelling after them in the middle of the race that our one and two runners were not doing well and they stepped up to help them,” said Soltani. “As a coach, that’s one of our proud moments.”

“This entire season these young men have embraced each other. They embraced a coach they didn’t know. They’ve come a long way.”

Valencia finished 14th in Division 1 out of 24 teams, clocking 1:18:11 as a team. Their top runner was Britain Reynolds, who came in 27th at 15:11.4.

In Division 5, Trinity Classical Academy finished 23rd. Hunter Romine finished 62nd for the Knights at 16:52.4.

The state meet will be next Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno.

About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and is the sports editor at The Signal.

West Ranch's Timothy Sterkel comes to finish line boys Division 2. Dan Watson/ The Signal

West Ranch, Saugus boys XC qualify for state meet

Earning a trip to the state championship at the CIF-Southern Section cross country finals in Riverside Saturday was a sweet victory for both West Ranch and Saugus boys teams, but the achievement meant a little more to the Wildcats.

It’s the first time in seven years that the Cats will be represented at the state level.

The team finished in sixth place in Division 2, clocking in at one hour, 17 minutes and 50 seconds, earning them 219 team points. Saugus finished immediately after with a time of 1:18:15 and 259 points.

The top seven teams advance.

“I have a lot of respect for the Saugus program,” said West Ranch coach Sara Soltani. “They’ve always been able to push through adversity. They have a very great program and I will never deny that. I want our (Foothill) league to be the best. I want us all to represent at the state meet.”

MORE: Saugus girls XC breaks tie for trip to state meet

Despite the state-qualifying finish, it was one of West Ranch’s worst performances of the season.

“It was definitely one of the most disappointing races of the year,” said Cats runner Justin Sherfey. “We’re going to move on to state and (think) nothing about this race. Think about what we need to do next week.”

Sherfey and Isaiah Seidman were the top two finishers for the Wildcats, coming in 36th (15:27.6) and 37th (15:28.5), respectively, out of a field of 171 runners.

Boon Andrews was top for the Cents, coming in 23rd at 15:16.8.

The heat and dustiness of the 3-mile Riverside City Cross Country Course may have contributed to lower-than-usual times for runners.

“The dust and the heat really affected us more than we thought it did,” said Sherfey, a senior. “It was really tightly packed in the first mile, everything gets really congested. It’s tight and dusty. It’s just a slow atmosphere.”

Nonetheless, West Ranch pulled through and ran as a team. Soltani, in her first year at West Ranch, shouted directions and encouragement and saw her team respond accordingly.

The Saugus boys celebrate after learning of their state-qualifying finish. Dan Watson/Signal
The Saugus boys celebrate after learning of their state-qualifying finish. Dan Watson/Signal

“I was yelling after them in the middle of the race that our one and two runners were not doing well and they stepped up to help them,” said Soltani. “As a coach, that’s one of our proud moments.”

“This entire season these young men have embraced each other. They embraced a coach they didn’t know. They’ve come a long way.”

Valencia finished 14th in Division 1 out of 24 teams, clocking 1:18:11 as a team. Their top runner was Britain Reynolds, who came in 27th at 15:11.4.

In Division 5, Trinity Classical Academy finished 23rd. Hunter Romine finished 62nd for the Knights at 16:52.4.

The state meet will be next Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno.

About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and is the sports editor at The Signal.

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 19 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]