This cross country season, few leagues have boasted as much skill as the Foothill League. With five boys teams and two girls teams headed to the CIF-Southern Section finals on Saturday, it seems as though the Foothill League could be one of the strongest leagues in the state, at least if you’d ask Canyon cross country coach Paul Broneer. “Our fifth-best team in our league could beat a first-place team in another league,” Broneer said. “If you look at the results of the prelims and you put all the Foothill League teams in there, we’re all pretty good.” Broneer, who has been coaching Canyon cross country since 1995, added that he’s seen seasons with three excellent boys teams, but never with five.
At the CIF-SS prelims, Saugus and West Ranch both finished second in their respective heats. Canyon and Golden Valley each finished fourth. Valencia finished sixth. To add further proof to this season’s success, four Foothill boys teams were mentioned in the latest CIF-SS rankings. A plethora of talented runners have fueled the league’s success. At the CIF-SS prelims, Saugus was confident enough in their runners that the team ran in a pack from start to finish. Valencia’s Britain Reynolds was a second-place finisher in the Vikings’ heat, while West Ranch’s Isaiah Seidman and Preston Pope finished fifth and sixth, respectively in Cats’ heat. Canyon’s Ethan Danforth and Golden Valley’s Daniel Rush placed second in their groups. The girls teams have had success this season in their own right. Saugus and West Ranch are each moving on to this weekend’s finals, with the Cents coming in second in the prelims and the Cats finishing fourth. The strength of this year’s teams will only feed into more positive strides in the future. “Success breeds success,” Broneer said. But first, each team is focused on getting a top-seven finish at Riverside Cross Country Course on Saturday and, consequently, a ticket to the state tournament.