Saugus Grad Voted Decade's Top Girls Distance Runner

Mariah Castillo, a 2018 graduate of Saugus High, who posted two of the state's all-time fastest distance marks during her senior season, has been selected as the Greatest Combination Girls Distance Runner of the Decade in a poll tournament that closed Sunday night. 

Castillo, currently a sophomore at Texas Christian University, received 74.5 percent of more than 1,500 votes in the championship matchup with Bethan Knights, a 2014 grad of Irvine Northwood HS. 

In her charge to the title, Castillo was the top vote-getter in matchups with Marissa Williams (Palisades/LA/2015), Alli Billmeyer (Torrey Pines/SD/2011), Fiona O'Keeffe (Davis/SJ/2016), Jacqueline Duarte (Chino Hills/SS/2021) and Knights. 

The only matchup where Castillo didn't win by at least 74.5 percent of the vote was against O'Keeffe, when she received 60 percent and won by 161 votes.

Castillo's support, which was consistent in the first three rounds, spiked in the semifinal matchup with Duarte when she received nearly 2,000 votes. While voting wasn't quite as a strong in the championship, the support for Castillo was obvious as she won by more than 700 votes!!

The Greatest Girls Combination Distance Runner of the Decade poll tournament began with 32 ladies who competed at California high schools between 2010 and 2019. Participants were selected based primarily on 1600m/3200m combined times with consideration toward results at the CIF-State Meet as well as 800m/1600m and 800m/3200m combined times.

All former State Meet champions during the decade in both the 1600m and 3200m were considered. Some 800m champions were considered but not all because this tournament was designed to feature the decade's top combined distance runners more than event specialists.

During her senior year at Saugus, Castillo displayed tremendous range across all three of the standard California distances: 800m, 1600m, 3200m. Her combined 800m/3200m time ranked third among all girls in the decade, her 16/32 time ranked sixth and her 8/16 time ranked eighth. 

More Mariah: 

  • PRs of 4:39.77c and 10:06.47 rank third and eighth, respectively, in the decade
  • PRs rank eighth and 15th, respectively, in CA history
  • Won the mile at the 2018 Brooks PR meet, 4:41.40, which converts to her PR 1600m time
  • Ran her 3200m PR to win the 2018 CIF-SS Division 2 title
  • Ran her 800m PR of 2:10.70 to win at the 2018 APU Distance Meet of Champions (video above)
  • State finalist for 1600m and 3200m in 2018
  • CIF-SS Division 2 champion for both 1600m (4:43.73) and 3200m her senior year