THE BEST FRESHMEN GIRLS OF 2012!
California's wealth of individual talent on the girls side over the years is unmatched on the national scene, boasting several national champions to its credit. This year's California All-State squad features two national finalists and an additional female proving to be just as good. Clearly, the "Class of 2016" is well equipped to continue the Golden State's tradition of girls' excellence in the years to come. Below are the "Freshmen 15" profiles and our "Freshmen Fab 50" listing for the girls.
By Rich Gonzalez
(December 22, 2012) – For all of the success displayed by Southern Section teams at the state meet — including capturing eight of the ten state team titles — Northern California responded by claiming half of the state's individual titles awarded. Thanks to a stellar female frosh triumvirate, that trend could become more pronounced in the years to come.
Division II state champion Maggie Bell of Granite Bay, national finalist Fiona O'Keeffe and Central Section standout Mikayla Sodersten continually created edits to the record books with solid frosh campaigns in 2012. The first two earned berths to national meets while the third probably was denied such due to a late-season injury. Regardless, the trio clearly emerged as the best among another dazzling class of ninth graders.
Let’s take a look at the top frosh in California for 2012:
"The Freshmen 15"
From l-to-r, top frosh Maggie Bell, Mikayla Sodersten, Fiona O'Keeffe and Bianca Tinoco.
#1 Frosh: Maggie Bell, Granite Bay HS – Maggie wasn't on our radar screen as one to watch before season's start, but she began glowing brightly one month later, then shined brightest at season's end. The breakthrough started at the Stanford Invitational, where Bell won the Division 2 race in the second-fastest frosh time of the day. She reached new levels in winning the Sac-Joaquin Section Finals on California's toughest state-qualifier course, then was the fastest ninth grader at the state meet (17:29) to win the state Division II title by four seconds. Bell then placed 60th among 199 runners at Nike Cross Nationals, which boasted the strongest and deepest field of talent imagineable.
#2 Frosh: Mikayla Sodersten, Clovis HS – Sodersten was tearing up the scene before a fracture in her foot sidelined her as postseason approached. She settled for posting the year's fastest frosh time on the Mt. SAC course (17:22) and the second-fastest (17:41 at the Clovis Invitational) on the Woodward Park course. Her time there ranks #2 in Central Section history, trailing only the phenomenal Jordan Hasay.
#3 Frosh: Fiona O'Keeffe, Davis HS – O'Keeffe was an immediate solid fixture for a program with a wealth of success over the years. She recorded among the fastest times in the state at both Mt. SAC (17:27) and Woodward Park (17:42) and also clocked 18:08 on the tough WIllow Hills Reservoir course. Also qualified for the FootLocker Championships meet but sustained a hip flexor injury on the Mt. SAC course at the West Regionals in the process. As a result, she did not finish the race in San Diego.
#4 Frosh: Bianca Tinoco, Golden Valley – A star performer while competing in one of the toughest leagues around, Tinoco evolved as a tough competitor who excelled in her biggest challenges. Her best race of the year occurred at the state meet, where she rolled to an 18:09 performance — a spectacular 38-second improvement over her performance on the very same course seven weeks earlier. Also clocked 16:42 on the rain course at Mt. SAC.
#5 Frosh: Chloe Pigg, Arcata – The age-group star's eventual arrival on the prep scene was a notable one. Her best races occurred at the Stanford Invitational, where she placed fouth in the Division III race, and the CIF-State Meet, where she finished third in Division IV. Appeared to be unbeaten otherwise, including blowout victories at the North Coast Section Finals and the Humboldt-Del Norte League Championships.
#6 Frosh: Amanda Gehrich, Tesoro – A solid season throughout, but enjoyed her biggest race at the Mt. SAC Invitational when she clocked 17:29 to move onto the national stage. Also was timed in 16:41 on the rain course at Mt. SAC for the Southern Section Finals and 18:24 at Woodward Park in Division II action at the state meet.
#7 Frosh: Lauren Jacob, Los Altos – Although enjoying a respectable start to her season, she really cranked up her performance level in the closing weeks of the season. Lauren's signature effort came at the Central Section Finals, where she blazed across Toro Park in 17:49, then blasted an 18:31 performance at the state meet, improving her time by 58 seconds at Woodward Park over her previous outing there seven weeks earlier.
#8 Frosh: Kelly Fairchild, Serrano – Unleashed a killer 17:51 performance at the Mt. SAC Invitational in her strongest showing of the fall. Also posted an 18:35 effort on the Woodward Park course at the state meet, where she placed 22nd in her race. Also placed 22nd at the Southern Section Finals on the Mt. SAC rain course. Opened up her season with a runner-up placing at the Don Bosco Invitational in early September.
#9 Frosh: Nicole Beaudoin, South Torrance – Boasting a wealth of top-ten finishes in her maiden voyage on the prep scene, she was at her best at the Mt. SAC Inviational, when she unleashed a sensational 17:55 effort. Clocked 16:49 on the rain course at Mt. SAC at CIF-SS Finals, six seconds away from qualifying for state as an individual. Placed third at the Pioneer League Finals to aid the team's title effort. Squad also placed 10th at the CIF-SS Finals.
#10 Frosh: Megan McCandless, Granada – Was a consistent performer down the stretch, including a fourth-place finish at the North Coast Section Finals (18:12 at Hayward HS) and a 33rd-place performance at the CIF-State Championships in Division I (18:35 at Woodward Park). Played a key role for one of the stronger squads in Northern California.
#11 Frosh: Brooke Starn, Monte Vista – Clearly among the most consistent performers in the northern half of the state, she placed fifth in the North Coast Section Finals (18:16 at Hayward HS) and 37th at the state meet (18:37 at Woodward Park). Also placed second in the Division I (non-seeded) race at Stanford and was timed in 18:10 on the Mt. SAC course.
#12 Frosh: Sydney Tullai, Ayala – Best performance came at the Clovis Invitational, when she flew through Woodward Park in 18:10 to place 10th in the seeded race. Won the Sierra League's individual title and also won both of the league's cluster meets. Also a race winner at the Laguna Hills Invitational in her high school debut and was timed in 18:00 at the Mt. SAC Inviational.
#13 Frosh: Courtney Brenner, Serrano – Best performance came at the Mt. SAC Invitational, when she placed 11th and posted a fine 17:48. Also a Top 30 finisher in her division at the state meet thanks to her 18:46 performance. Claimed top 10 finishes at the Don Bosco and Apache invitationals as well as the Mojave River League Finals.
#14 Frosh: Chloe Hansel, Las Lomas – Placed fourth at the North Coast Section Finals meet in 18:47, then rose her game to record the exact same time a week later at the state meet at Woodward Park, a 25-second improvement over her performance there during the Clovis Invitational seven weeks earlier. Also a Top-10 race finisher at the Woodbridge Invitational.
#15 Frosh: Destiny Collins, Great Oak – Could have easily ranked even better on the list based on excellent showings late in the season at the Apache Invitational and the Southwestern League Finals, but a so-so showing (for her, at least) at the Mt. SAC Invitational and postseason injury robbed her chances to affirm for position on championship courses.
All-Northern California "Fab Frosh" First-Team
Maggie Bell, Granite Bay (Sac-Joaquin)
Mikayla Sodersten, Clovis (Central)
Fiona O'Keeffe, Davis (Sac-Joaquin)
Chloe Pigg, Arcata (North Coast)
Lauren Jacob, Los Altos (Central Coast)
Megan McCandless, Granada (North Coast)
Brooke Starn, Monte Vista (North Coast)
All-Southern California "Fab Frosh" First-Team
Bianca Tinoco, Golden Valley (Southern)
Amanda Gehrich, Tesoro (Southern)
Kelly Fairchild, Serrano (Southern)
Taylor Beaudoin, South Torrance (Southern)
Nicole Beaudoin, South Torrance (Southern)
Courtney Brenner, Serrano (Southern)
Sydney Tullai, Ayala (Southern)
"Freshmen Fab 50"
Remainder of the California “Fab 50 Frosh” Honorees (listed alphabetically)
Sarah Abrahamson (La Costa Canyon-SD)
Bianca Alonzo (Marlborough-SS)
Nicole Beaudoin (South Torrance-SS)
Kelly Bernd (Canyon Crest Academy-SD)
Brittany Black (Torrey Pines-SD)
Brittney Blackwell (Oak Park-SS)
Rachel Bohan (Cathedral Catholic-SD)
Kiana Cavanaugh (Claremont-SS)
Morgin Coonfield (McKinleyville-NO)
Kelsey Creese (Bonita-SS)
Kaitlyn Derry (Bella Vista-SJ)
Kendall Derry (Bella Vista-SJ)
Hannah Doty (Paloma Valley-SS)
Zoe Enright (Menlo-CC)
Madeline Fox (Marina-SS)
Stefani Gaskell (Hesperia-SS)
Angela Gemignani (Arroyo Grande-SS)
Kailee Grimes (Beaumont-SS)
Sarah Holloway (Los Osos-SS)
Carly Josephson (Patrick Henry-SD)
Ashley Larson (Northwood-SS)
Samanth Layman (West Torrance-SS)
Ashley Licata (Capistrano Valley-SS)
Maddy Lyons (Del Oro-SJ)
Elizabeth Mang (Rancho Buena Vista-SD)
Lauren Mason (Woodcreek-SJ)
Sedona McNerney (Bella Vista-SJ)
Gillian Meeks (Gunn-CC)
Lauren Moffett (Clovis North-CE)
Belle Moran (Redding Christian-NO)
Kaitlyn Pacheco (Clovis West-CE)
Whitney Rice (Rancho Buena Vista-SD)
Mya Torres (Gregori-SJ)
Delaney White (Santa Rosa-NC)
Maily Wong (Capistrano Valley-SS)
California's Best Frosh Programs of 2012
(Based on leading data on each runner. These four squads emerged as best in the state.)
- Bella Vista, Fair Oaks (Sac-Joaquin) – Lead trio of the Derry Sisters (Kendall and Kaitlin) and Sedona McNerney keyed Bella Vista's 11th-place team finish in Division II at the state meet. A fourth frosh from postseason and a fifth from the regular season staked the Broncos with the best ninth-grade crew in the state.
- Rancho Buena Vista, Vista (San Diego) – Four frosh (including "Fab 50" selections Elizabeth Mang and Whitney Rice) banded together to help RBV place a surprising sixth in Division I at the state meet.
- Great Oak, Temecula (Southern) –Destiny Collins was the frontrunner four a crew with impressive depth that posted the top team time at the Mt. SAC Invitational.
- Capistrano Valley, San Juan Capistrano (Southern) – "Fab 50" picks Ashley Licata and Maily Wong paced Capo Valley to perhaps its best season in school history, a seventh-place finish in State Division I.