Striving to be the best is always key for any athlete in any sport, but just because an athlete works hard, doesn’t mean they can’t have fun too.
Being dominant while having fun at the same time was never was an issue for Golden Valley thrower Shyann Franklin, whose signature smile could be spotted from a mile away.
She often joked with her teammates, competitors and coaches before and after throwing events, but when she stepped into the ring, it was all business.
Finishing in second place in shot put at the CIF State Track and Field Championships, Franklin earned the title of All-SCV Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
After her sixth and final throw at the State Finals went for a personal record of 48-3/4, the senior couldn’t contain her delight, flashing her patented smile and hugging her friend and fellow Foothill League thrower Natalie Ramirez.
She then threw on a pair of black sunglasses, which she wore on the podium while receiving her medal, and much like singer Corey Hart did back in 1983, she wore her sunglasses at night.
“I told myself I’m going to be calm, put on my glasses, be all cool you know, but you saw me in the ring. I was just clapping, I was just so excited. I’m so proud of myself and I finally proved to myself that I can do it,” she said after the competition. “This is my last high school meet, my last six throws, that last one when I warmed up, I just felt it.”
“Shyann is amazing, I’m so proud of her. When Shyann is out there with me, we calm each other down, we’re there for each other,” Ramirez said after the meet. “I’m always happy to have that familiar face around, it’s like a league meet because Shyann is right there with me.”
Franklin’s throw at the State Finals ranked as the second-best throw in the state this year and the sixth best throw in the country.
She also won the shot put title in the Foothill League with a then personal record of 47-11 1/2 and finished in first place at the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 Finals.
Franklin piled up accolades all season, taking first place in shot put out of 35 throwers at the Maurice Greene Invitational on March 16. She also won the discus event at the same meet.
She bested 43 other throwers in shot put at the Trevor Habberstad Invitational on February 23, taking home another first-place finish. At the Nike Redondo Invitational on March 8, she finished in second place behind only Ramirez. She also finished in second behind Ramirez at the CIF-SS Masters Meet.
“With me, it’s about staying humble. Just remember everything that I need to do, and don’t throw for others, throw for myself,” she said.
While Franklin’s individual performance this season was off the charts, she also played a key role in Golden Valley’s success this year. After going 1-4 in 2018, the Grizzlies went 4-1 this season on the girls’ side.
She also served as a guide for sophomore boys thrower Kienan Donovan, who joined her on the journey to state this year.
“Shyann definitely has mentored me through the mental weak points throughout high school,” Donovan said. “She’s done so much and I am very proud of her. I know she’ll do great things in her future.”
While Franklin had an outstanding high school career, her future is even brighter as she transitions from being a Grizzly to a Golden Bear of Cal Berkeley.
The competition in college will be fierce, but if there’s anyone who can dedicate her life to her sport while also finding time to have fun, it’s Franklin.
“I’m going to the Pac-12, I have to come in with a strong punch,” she said with a laugh. “I’m going to get my workout from Cal and just get back to work. I don’t have time to take a break.”
All-SCV Girls Track and Field Team
Angelee Berganio – Canyon, junior
When it comes to the 800-meter race, Berganio is hard to beat. She claimed the top spot in the race last year at the Foothill League Finals and did so again this year with a time of 2:19.01. She set a PR of 2:16.14 at the Azusa Pacific University Distance Meet of Champions on March 23, finishing in 12th place out of 217 runners. She was also part of the 4×1600 relay team that finished in first at the Trevor Habberstad Invitational.
Kylee Davis – Saugus, freshman
A true multidimensional athlete, Davis excelled in her freshman campaign in multiple events including the 100-meter, long jump and as a member of the 4×100 relay team. She finished in first place in the long jump at the Foothill League Finals and took third place in the 100-meter with a time of 12.85. However, her strongest event was the high jump, where she also finished first in the Foothill League with a mark of 5 feet. She placed third at the CIF-SS Division 1 Finals and advanced to the Masters Meet where she finished in the No. 13 spot.
Hannah Fredericks – Saugus, sophomore
A distance runner extraordinaire, Fredericks was part of a dominant Saugus girls team that went an undefeated 5-0 in league this season. The sophomore shined in both the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter, taking first place in the former with a PR of 5:01.88 at the Foothill League Finals. She finished in fourth place in the latter at 11:18.53. She placed first in the 1,600-meter in three out of the four league dual meets she raced in.
Tylar Gallien – Golden Valley, freshman
A freshman sensation who burst onto the scene, Gallien was a huge part of Golden Valley’s success this season. She took home the Foothill League title in both the 200-meter (25.32) and 400-meter (57.29). At the CIF-SS Division 2 Finals she finished in sixth place in both races, setting a PR in the 400-meter with a time of 57.18. She was also a crucial part of the Grizzlies’ first-place 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.
Sophia Hoelzel – West Ranch, senior
A cross-country standout, Hoelzel also flourished in distance races this year in track and field. The UCLA commit finished first at the Foothill League Prelims in the 1,600-meter and came in second in league with a time of 5:07.14. She set a season record time of 5:02.41 at the CIF-SS Division 1 Prelims a little over a week later. At the Nike Redondo Invitational on March 8, Hoelzel came in fifth (5:06.63) out of 93 runners.
Natalie Ramirez – West Ranch, senior
Ramirez had an exceptional high school career, making it to the CIF State Meet in both discus and shot put three years in a row. This year, she claimed the Foothill League crown in discus with a winning throw of 148-6 1/2 and finished in second place at the CIF-SS Division 1 Finals with a mark of 156. In shot put, she finished second in the Foothill League (46), but claimed the top spot at the Division 1 Finals with a PR of 47-9 3/4. At state this year, the future UCLA Bruin reached the podium in both events, finishing third in discus (159) and fourth in shot put (44-1/2).
Hailey Rutter – Saugus, junior
Another powerhouse member of Saugus’ distance runners, Rutter ran in the 800-meter, 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter at the Foothill League Prelims. She earned the league title in the 3,200-meter, finishing with a time of 11:05.01 ahead of five of her Saugus teammates. She finished in the No. 8 spot at the CIF-SS Division 1 Finals with a time of 10:59.84. Her PR was set at the Arcadia Invitational with a time of 10:49.70.
Chloe Stewart – Valencia, senior
Stewart carried the torch in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in first place at the Foothill League Finals with a time of 15.40. She set a PR in the same event at the CIF-SS Division 1 Prelims (15.25) and finished eighth in the Division 1 Finals (15.70). She came in third place in the league in the 300-meter hurdles. Stewart was also a part of Valencia’s second-place 4×100 relay team.