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Boys cross country athlete of the year: Austin Tamagno, Brea Olinda
His accomplishments entering the fall had already earned him a place among the all-time top distance runners in county history and made him one of the top recruits in the nation.
So what did Austin Tamagno want to achieve in his final boys cross country season at Brea Olinda?
“I just wanted to enjoy senior year in cross country and help the team win another state title,” he said.
Brea’s ace accomplished his goals while being untouchable. He was the first repeat winner of the Orange County Championships in more than a decade, and he captured league, CIF Southern Section and CIF state individual titles.
With him leading the way, Brea Olinda won its third consecutive CIF-SS title and brought home a CIF State championship for the second year in a row.
For his dominating performance, Tamagno has been selected the Register’s boys cross country athlete of the year. He also earned the honor in 2014.
2015 All-County boys cross country:
Tamagno said he looked at the cross country season as a chance to wipe out the frustration that came with last spring’s track and field season, a time when he was injured and distracted by the process of choosing a college.
“In track, I had a very busy season,” he said. “I was more focused, probably, outside of running, just with choosing college, school and family.
“Running was probably like the third or fourth thing that I was worried about.”
He came into the cross country season with his focus as sharp as ever and a desire to further what he called “the Brea legacy.”
On Nov. 28, the morning of the state meet at Woodward Park in Fresno, Tamagno was confident his team would secure the program’s second state title. Brea topped Baldwin Park, 86-87, to repeat as Division 3 state champion.
“That meant the world to us,” said Tamagno, who ended speculation about the college he would attend when he signed with Oregon in November. “That was our goal from the day we won (state) the first time.”
First-year Brea Olinda coach Matt Rainwater said Tamagno knew the times of his teammates down to a fraction of a second, and he would be the first to congratulate them on a good race.
“Austin is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete, and not just for me,” Rainwater said. “I think that his name and his accomplishments will stand the test of time for the county. He’s going to be one of those names that people will talk about 30 years from now. I’m proud of him.”