By Ryan Menzie
For The Signal
Santa Clarita Valley athletes continued to gather accolades this summer, as MileSplit California, a well-known track publication, named a number of competitors to its all-state team.
Both Golden Valley and Saugus high schools were represented on the list, with the Grizzlies garnering a half-dozen honorees, according to ca.milesplit.com.
The Centurions featured one runner, four-time Foothill League champion Hannah Fredericks, who plans on continuing her career at The Master’s University next season. Fredericks’ distance coach Kevin Berns can’t express enough how proud he is of Fredericks for all of her accomplishments and now being recognized as one of the athletes to make the all-state team.
“It’s been amazing the last four years coaching Hannah. She has grown tremendously as an athlete,” said Berns.
Fredericks is one of three distance athletes in SCV history to win three league titles in the same meet and is also a Division 1 champion in the 3,200 meters. Fredericks is the fourth-fastest female distance runner in the history of Santa Clarita, according to coach Berns.
“It was a little unexpected, but I’m honored to be a part of the list with all the other great girls on the team — it was a really cool surprise,” said Fredericks. “I think I couldn’t have asked for a better season. We were not sure if it was going to get canceled or not. We competed a lot, and I felt like there were a lot of people behind me this season. That really just helped me want to be better and it made the victories even that much more beautiful.”
Golden Valley High School
The Grizzlies’ six athletes who made the squad ranged from a freshman to seniors, a promising sign for the future of Golden Valley head coach Lonnie Davis’ program.
“It was very exciting. It’s a great accomplishment, not only for the individuals but also for the program,” said Davis. “We had athletes from every class and a variety of sports. It shows the versatility of the program in regards to all the events. It keeps us excited and looking forward to the next season.”
The list included seniors Antonio Abrego and Kienan Donovan, juniors Kylee Davis and Elijha Ellis, sophomore Adonijah Currie and freshman Meagan Humphries.
Donovan and Abrego both plan on competing at the collegiate level next season. Donovan was selected for throws, and plans on competing at the University of California, Riverside, next season. He feels good knowing his accomplishments and hard work were put on full display this season.
“When COVID hit, I saw it as an opportunity to get better and worked very hard through quarantine,” said Donovan. “It feels good knowing my hard work paid off. I want to be a leader through my actions. Seeing what it takes, and I’m happy I was able to be a positive influence for kids who need some motivation in their life.”
Abrego was selected for middle distance running and plans to continue his career at the University of Iowa. Abrego looks forward to competing and maximizing his potential next season.
“It was definitely an honor for sure to be selected as one of the best in the state and to make the team,” said Abrego. “I couldn’t have done it without (my coaches). They’ve played a big part in my four years of high school, and I’m very thankful. Hopefully, I can carry over the traits and be successful at the next level, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Davis, Ellis and Humphries were all selected onto the team for jumping. Ellis won the Foothill League title and placed fifth in the state meet for jumps. He was proud of his performances, he said, seeing his accomplishments as a blessing for all of his hard work.
“I was really proud of myself for staying patient and pushing through my workouts. When I made the all-state first team, I knew this is what happens when someone works hard for their goals,” said Ellis. “I’m ready for the challenge now. This season prepared me for next season for sure. I want the eyes on me because I can show you what I can do.”
Humphries, the only freshman on the Grizzlies squad to make the list, set a new personal record of 5 feet, 6 inches in the high jump, putting her fourth in the state, according to MileSplit California. She was excited and humbled to be a part of the list.
“I just want to improve in high jumps; since I’ve been injured, I wasn’t able to do some of the events I normally do, but I want to get back to the other events,” said Humphries. “I had a lot of time to work on my high jump, so now I want to improve it as much as I can.”
Currie rounds out the list of talented athletes for the Grizzlies. Currie’s final run of the season was a school-record performance at the state meet at Arcadia High, where she ran a time of 55.17 in the 400 meters for third place.
“It was kind of surprising making the team,” said Currie. “I just did what I did best at the meets and practiced very hard before competing. I want to compete harder next season and hopefully set some more personal records and win as many events as possible.”