The Summer Series athletes began their race at COC on July 28. (Kyle Kawamoto / COC Sports Information)

College of the Canyons hosted one of its 47th annual Cross Country Summer Series sponsored by Fleet Feet on August 4. People and children of all ages have participated in what is special not to just the college, but to the community. The participants were not just from the Santa Clarita Valley but as far as Burbank.


After the long wait of two years and dealing with the pandemic, the races were finally on their way. But there was a process that took place before everything started. 


“We were told just for safety reasons and with a campus being closed, we were not allowed to run,” Canyons track coach Lindie Kane said. “So when sports did come back in the fall, we were excited to come back. We came back with the turkey trot in November, and then that of course carried over momentum.”


The Summer Series athletes coming down the hill after completing about half of the course. (Kyle Kawamoto / COC Sports Information / 8/4/22)

Over 100 people came to the Summer Series. There are new participants every week and some that came every week since July 7. Most of the athletes that ran in these events were from the high schools around the SCV.


“We have a lot of recreational runners out here as well as the competitive runners that represent club teams,” Kane said. “It’s good to see the community out here and we’ve had a lot of local support throughout the years from the Santa Clarita runners, the high schools, other adult, and youth running groups, the storm, and warriors.”


Jaden Wiley leads with the best time on August 4. (Kyle Kawamoto / COC Sports Information)

A local Valencia athlete had a time set of 0:15:30, but the time was not achieved overnight. Coming to this series since the fourth grade, Jaden Wiley was one of the many athletes who came out to not be fully competitive, but have fun in the process of coming back to this series.


“It definitely hasn’t been easy,” he said “A lot of injuries. A lot of things that have come up that have kind of inhibited my running, but it’s fun to just kind of feel healthy again and train hard.”


With many others coming back from the pandemic, the community is alive and strong coming together. This can be mostly heartwarming to not just Coach Kane, but her staff alongside her as well.

COC track coach Denean Hill gives an athlete encouragement to finish. (Kyle Kawamoto / COC Sports Information / 7/14/22)

COC track coach Denean Hill gave everyone the sounds of encouragement that they needed to make that trip to the finish line special.


“My heart was overjoyed, and I think the two years with COVID made it really rough on everybody involved,” Hill said. “This is really a big community event for the school and for the community. So being able to come back out after being inside for two years, this was a very welcoming sight from the community.” 


Even though the community had to wait two years for this event to come back into motion. It shows that this is a special moment for all those who are involved in this community.

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