Thu, Jan. 23

Aftershock impresses at Footlocker

Allyson Arellano. Photo courtesy of Aftershock Distance Club

Allyson Arellano. Photo courtesy of Aftershock Distance Club

Aftershock Distance Club capped off its cross-country season with one final race, the Footlocker Western Regionals at Mt. San Antonio College, in Walnut, Calif.

As usual, the runners of Aftershock all impressed and some garnered top awards.

"We had a great weekend at Mt. SAC (San Antonio College) this weekend," said Aftersock head coach Micah Swenson. "Super tough course with three major hills in it and amazing competition."

Running in a pool of 105 girls, Megan Goettl, Allyson Arellano and Penny Fenn all finished with All-West Honors, and made the Arizona State team. Allyson continued to show that if she were not considered one of the top runners in the U.S.A., then she would be soon enough.

The freshman ran her 5K in 19:30, which placed her as the fastest girls from Arizona. Allyson finished her race (freshmen/sophomore All-West race) in second place, 4.7 seconds behind Utah's Samantha Hollingsworth. Allyson time placed her 18th overall, 1:24.7 seconds behind the overall first place finisher, Montana's Makena Morley.

"In the girls' freshmen/sophomore All-West race, we had three runners finish with All-West honors," Swenson said. "... Just missing All-West honors (Top 48) was Karen Arellano in 53rd (21:13). Like all of the races, this one went out extremely fast. Allyson crossed the mile at 5:42 with the lead group of five runners. Coming off the first downhill, she had opened up a small lead. She was able to sustain that lead up until the final 400 meters, where a girl from American Fork, Utah was able to out kick Allyson for the win. 

On the boys' side, freshman Chris D'Angelo finished his race in 17:42, which placed him in 39th; 1:25.5 behind first place Matt Salazar, a sophomore from California.

"He got trapped early in the race, back in the 70's-80, and had to work his way up throughout the race," Swenson said. "He was really effective using the downhill portions of the racecourse to pick runners off and move his way up through the race field."

Of the other runners for Aftershock, Sydney Alexander, running in the seventh/eighth grade two-mile race, finished 36th with a time of 12:43.2. Alexander was able to do what few runners are and had a negative split on her two miles. She ran her first mile in 6:33, but she handled the hill well and finished with a pace of 6:22.

"Her fastest pace this season leading into Foot Locker was a 6:45 for 5K," Swenson said. "She came through the opening mile at 6:33, ran the hill smart, and opened up and flew the rest of the race to have a finishing pace of 6:22, running negative split miles."

When everything was calculated and state teams announced, Allyson had the fastest time of any Arizona runner, ahead of 8-time state champion (cross-country and track and field) Tatianna Gillick, from Flagstaff. Goettl was No. 3 and Fenn was the No.7 runner for the state.

"It was a really successful weekend for us with four athletes earning All-West honors and three girls making the Arizona state team," Swenson said. "I was really impressed with how well our runners prepared mentally for this racecourse and how they executed on race day ... Tatianna Gillick, of Flagstaff, she's an 8-time D-II state champion (3 cross-country titles and five track) with her senior track season still to go. Ally being the fastest Arizona girl is a bigger deal than I thought."

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