Saugus track and field take care of business against short-handed West Ranch

Saugus sophomore Brandon Cruz runs the first leg of the boys 4x100 race at Saugus High School on Thursday. Jacob Velarde/For The Signal
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The Saugus track and field team hosted West Ranch on Thursday in the third Foothill League meet of the season, though only the track athletes competed.

Field events were postponed to Friday due to the rain earlier in the day, but Saugus’ runners were ready to go, defeating a short-handed West Ranch team in all but one event on the boys and girls varsity level.

After the Centurions won the girls and boys 4×100, Saugus sophomore Julia Pearson started off the individual races with a win in the 1600-meter with a time of 5 minutes, 16.68 seconds, a personal record.

Pearson grabbed the lead from the get-go and stayed calm and collected the whole way through to secure the win over her teammates Hailey Rutter and Jacqueline Cascione, who finished in second and third, respectively.

“I felt really relaxed the whole way and I was just trying to hit 80’s every lap,” Pearson said. “We were right on the first lap but then the second lap we kind of slowed down, but I think I ended up running a 74 the last lap to make up for the lost time.”

Saugus sophomore Julia Pearson led the pack from the onset of the girls 1600-meter race at Saugus High School on Thursday. Jacob Velarde/For The Signal

Saugus senior Kristian Rascon defeated West Ranch’s Felix Breitbach in the boys 1600-meter by more than two seconds, finishing with a time of 4:38.41, setting a personal record.

Julia Mucha won both the girls 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles for Saugus with times of 17.52 and 51.71, narrowly beating teammate and fellow sophomore Grace Rutherford in both races

Lucas Bunde won the boys 110-meter hurdles and also set a personal record (16.44) and Xavier Medina won the boys 300-meter hurdles (42.74) for the Centurions.

Three Saugus girls runners took the top three places in the girls 400-meter, with junior Heaven Sanchez coming in first at 1:01.41.

Sophomore Zachariah Turner blew away the competition in the boys 400-meter, beating teammate Dylan Parks by almost five seconds, finishing with a time of 49.91.

“I was feeling really good today and I asked my brother and my teammates to yell the time that I wanted to run, a 48 today, so while I’m in the run it would help me going with that mindset even when I’m tired,” Turner said. “This is the race I like to do. It’s where I think I do the best.”

Turner also won the boys 200-meter with a time of 23.09 and freshman Kylee Davis won the girls 200-meter, finishing at 26.93.

Freshman Makayla Washington won the girls 100-meter with a time of 12.94, narrowly missing her personal record of 12.85 she set earlier in the season at the first league meet against Valencia.

Zachariah Turner won the boys 400-meter and 200-meter on Thursday at Saugus High School. Jacob Velarde/For The Signal

Saugus sophomore Brandon Cruz, who usually doesn’t run the boys 100-meter, did so Thursday and made it look easy, finishing with a personal record of 11.48.

“It was a good race. I got out of the blocks a little slow but right around that 20-meter mark I felt my acceleration going up and I hit my full speed and then I was able to take off,” Cruz said. “My PR before was around 11.9, I don’t really run the 100 we just threw me in it and I think I hit a massive PR.

“The 100 is just an amazing race, it’s for anyone. If you can do well in other races you can definitely do well in the 100. It’s just a test of your speed and I guess I was fast.”

Saugus’ Nick Serrano won the boys 800-meter with a time of 1:59.50, also setting a personal record.

James Musasizi set a personal record and finished first in the boys 3200-meter with a time of 10:08.42 for the Cents. Hailey Rutter finished first in the girls 3200-meter at 11:44.21.

West Ranch senior Peyton Washington was the only runner to win an event for the Wildcats, finishing with a time of 2:21.14 in the girls 800-meter, beating her personal record of 2:23.51 set on Saturday at the California Relays.

Washington said she did her best to represent her team with the majority of the Wildcats on the road at the Nike Chandler Rotary Track Meet in Chandler, Arizona.

“There are a lot of people that aren’t here today that are at another track meet right now, so I just needed to make sure that we got some points for my team,” Washington said. “I wanted to make sure and do what I could do to help out my team.”

Official team scores will be announced on Friday after the field events conclude.

Saugus will compete at the Meet of Champions at Azusa Pacific University on Saturday before returning to Foothill league action on Thursday against Golden Valley.

West Ranch will face Valencia on Thursday in its next league meet

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