Hart and Saugus take home wins at first XC league meet 

Varsity Foothill League runners start their meet at COC. Photo By Justin Vigil-Zuniga

Hart boys and Saugus girls cross country picked up wins at the Foothill League meet on Saturday. 

The teams raced through the hills surrounding Cougar Stadium at College of the Canyons for their first crack at each other this season. 

Saugus’ girls team blew by the competition, led by freshman Lucia Pearson, who finished first in 19:14.09. Centurion sophomore Makenna Blum was just behind Pearson with a 19:22.28 finish. 

The Saugus duo were the first of five Saugus runners in the top 11 and seven in the top 14. 

“Our team has been working so hard,” said Pearson. “It was no surprise that my teammates pulled through.” 

Saugus Centurions freshman Lucia Pearson finishes in first place during a Foothill League cross country meet. Photo by Justin Vigil-Zuniga / The Signal

Canyon would finish second, 40 points behind Saugus. Cowboys’ junior Brianna Campbell finished third in the meet in 19:31.97. 

West Ranch finished third, barely beating Castaic, which had a great fifth-place team finish led by junior Kassidy Vargas’ 20:03.97 mark. 

The boys race would be a much tighter scrap for points. 

West Ranch senior Billie Issa would finish with the fastest time of the day at 15 minutes even.  

“It felt pretty easy,” said Issa. “We were jogging the first mile and a half. We all started picking it up and I just took it and never looked back.” 

Just behind Issa was Saugus senior Jacob Fredericks, finishing second in 15:09.06. 

Hart’s boys team was led by senior Owen Ahten, who finished third in 15:30.69. Ahten was the first of four Indians to finish in the top 10.  
“This is supposed to be the hardest course that we run so today it was really more about ‘just get out there and race’ and not worry so much about the time,” said Hart head coach Darren James. 

Saugus and Valencia would each get a pair of runners in the top 10, but Hart’s third, eighth, ninth and 10th finishes would be too much to overcome. 

Canyon’s Erick Leal runs in front of Hart’s Paul Mangione. Photo by Justin Vigil-Zuniga

Hart would squeak by Saugus by just four points. West Ranch would finish third, 25 points behind the Centurions. 

“We’re extremely happy with the results but we’re on to Monday’s training and that’s what it is,” said Saugus head coach Kevin Berns. “If we can get out of here healthy, we’re happy.” 

A handful of teams will be participating in the SCV Invitational at COC on Oct. 8 while others will head to the Clovis Invitational the same day. The teams won’t all be back together until the Foothill League finals on Saturday, Oct. 29, when they return to COC. 

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