The fall sports season is in full swing as September comes around and the CIF Southern Section is continuing to release preseason polls, with Monday’s release concerning cross country, pegging three local teams as expected to be among Southern California’s elite.
The Southern Section has named three squads from Santa Clarita Valley schools as ones to watch for the upcoming season: West Ranch boys, Saugus girls and Canyon girls.
West Ranch, placed in Division 3, graduated Bille Issa, who is now running for California Polytechnic University. The Wildcats still bring back a bevy of potential leaders in sophomores Tyler Halvorsen, Aidan Bodell and seniors John Potter and Jonathan Valles, who helped West Ranch place fourth at the Foothill League finals and fifth in the Southern Section Division 3 finals last year.
Saugus retains much of its roster that took first at last year’s Foothill League finals, including Lucia Pearson, who led the pack as a freshman last year. The Centurions should also see junior Makenna Blum and sophomores Sydney Kasahara and Mikaila Whitman help the Centurions try to challenge in Division 1, one higher than the one in which they finished 12th at the section finals last year.
In Division 3, Canyon makes an appearance after a season that saw the Cowboys finish second at the Foothill League finals and 12th in the Division 3 section finals. Canyon is set to return seniors Cynthia Herrera and Isi Eichie, along with junior Cadillac Payne, from that squad.
The Southern Section preliminaries are scheduled to be held Nov. 10-11, the finals on Nov. 18 and the state meet is set for Nov. 25.