February 16, 2012

SANTA CLARITA, Calif -- Thursday afternoon, a milestone in the history of The Master's women’s cross country and track program took place as local standout Karis Frankian signed her Letter of Intent to compete for the Mustangs as family, coaches, and close friends looked on.  “This is a big deal, not only for our program, but for the community as well,” Head Coach Zach Schroeder comments.  “Karis Frankian is a household name in the Santa Clarita Valley running community.  The local running community has had the privilege of watching her compete the past four years, and now they get to keep her in the valley and watch her compete for four more.”

Frankian is currently a senior at Saugus High School (SHS), which has won six California Cross Country State Championships in a row, four of which were accomplished during Frankian’s career at Saugus.  SHS is a member of the Foothill League, arguably one of the most competitive leagues in the nation.

This past fall Karis captained her team to their most recent State Championship victory. Leading the way for the Centurions, Frankian posted the 9th fastest time in the state across all divisions.  During her high school career, Karis has run cross country PR’s of: 17:42 (5k) and 16:50 (3 mi.), and has posted times on the track of 10:41 (2 mi.), 5:05 (mi.).  On numerous occasions Karis has appeared on Dyestat’s national top 25 list for cross country and track.

Having received many scholarship offers to attend highly acclaimed division I collegiate programs, the obvious question for Frankian is “Why Master’s?”  Karis’ response, “It’s where I think God wants me.  The best place for me with everything considered.”  Karis’ stated collegiate goals are “to possibly win team or individual nationals in XC or track, break 17:00 for 5k,” as well as run big times in the 1500 and 10,000.

Going into her final season of high school track, Karis plans to run under 10:24 for 2 miles, break 4:58 for the mile and 2:20 for the 800.  As she wraps up her high school career, Karis is excited to “start the next chapter in life, meet new people, and continue [her] education.”

It has been a longtime vision of Coach Schroeder to build a nationally recognized collegiate distance running powerhouse on the shoulders of local talent.  “I love the Santa Clarita Valley,” says Schroeder, “we have some of the best talent and coaching here at the high school level in the nation.  At the collegiate level, we’re just starting to see some good success, with our men’s and women’s teams finishing 10th at nationals this past fall. The support of the community has been tremendous, and we’re just getting started.”

In the Fall 2011, the Lady Mustangs made their first-ever team appearance at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships, where they bested all members of Golden State Athletic Conference, save Azusa Pacific.  With APU leaving the GSAC at the end of this academic year, the TMC women’s squad will return next fall ranked first in the Conference.  With the addition of Frankian, the Mustangs will continue to look to claim their first ever GSAC Championship Title.