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Cougar Runners Rack Up Wins, Top Honors
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Success for Escalon track and field participants was two-fold this week, the squads winning a Trans-Valley League meet with Ripon and then showing well - including a first place finish for the varsity boys - at the Pacific Grove Invitational in Monterey.

In the Wednesday meeting at home against Ripon, the JV boys were 34-32 winners.

"We move people we need up," coach Rick Heflin said, noting that those JV boys left to battle just had enough to edge out Ripon.

Among the winners were the 4-by-100 relay team, finishing in 52.31, while Heath Dougherty took first in the triple jump at 33-3 1/4. David Anderson was second in 29- 3/4.

Andrew Schram finished second in the 100 at 12.39 and Dougherty was third, 12.59. Dougherty also was second in the long jump, 16-5 and Taylor Hawkins took third in that event, 15-4 1/4.

In the high jump, Carl Aufdermaur took first at 5-0, David Anderson was second at the same height but needed more attempts to make it. Third place went to Daniel Sawyer, 4-10.

Taylor Hawkins was first in the 200, 26.47.

For the varsity girls, the win was decisive, overpowering Ripon by a 111-25 margin.

Amy Bixel was first in the discus at 92-1, second place went to Stephanie Dunbar, 59-9 1/2. Bixel was a double winner on the day, also taking first in the shotput, 27-10 1/2. Lauren Finley was second with a throw of 20-5.

"Wednesday was wild, in the high jump, we had to hold the bar because of the wind," Heflin noted.

With the wind working against them, Sandi French won the event with a height of 4-4. Melissa Goff was third at 4-0.

Katie Baroni took the 100 meter hurdles in 19.58, second place went to Lauren Cosentino, 19.88. Baroni also won the 300 meter hurdles, 55.62, with Shannon Finley taking second in 1:01.35.

The 4-by-100 relay girls were first, 59.43, and Jamie Landry captured the pole vault at 7-6. Goff was second, 7-0.

In the 1600 meters, Amanda Moreno placed first in 5:40, Marie Beard was third in 6:32. The 3200 meters was captured by Moreno in 12:11.

"She was jogging," Heflin admitted.

Beard was third, 14:26. Second place in the 400 went to Shannon Finley, 1:20 and Stephanie Dunbar was third in 1:34.

"Amanda Nunes set a new personal record in the 100, 13.08, but it was wind-aided," noted Heflin. Landry was second, 14.06 and Cosentino was third, 14.30."

In the triple jump, French was first at 28-11, Shannon Finley second at 26-7 and Tracy Harjo completed the Lady Cougar sweep with a third place leap of 21-6.

Long jump saw Shannon Finley taking second, 11-5 and Amanda Bernasconi third, 11-3. Sam Draper was the winner of the 800, 2:50; Marie Beard was second, 3:21. Amanda Nunes was first in the 200, 28.77 and Cosentino was third, 30.80. Escalon also won the 1600 meter relay, 5:30.

"Our boys won 81-55 but we had two kids out sick that didn't even participate," Heflin said of taking the win.

Mike Sawyer took second in the shotput at 41-10, Jake Brown was third at 40-8. In the 110 high hurdles, Lars Jacobsen set a new personal best and took first in 16.72.

"And he broke the pizza mark," said Heflin, indicating Jacobsen reached a previously set goal in the event and earns a pizza for his efforts.

Michael Beeman was second, 19.10 and Peter Fisk third, 19.12.

The boys took second in the 400 relay, 49.30.

Marc Backovich was first in the 1600 at 4:59, Andy Schmidt was third in 5:13.

Action in the 400 saw Marshall Rockey taking first in 56.31 and Marcus Savage third in 57.63. Discus, Mike Sawyer was second at 111-2, Vynce Bacay was first in the 100 at 11.17. He also took first in the triple jump, 39-6 and Chris Castledine was third, 38-2.

"In the long jump, Marcus Savage was first at 19-4 and Chris Castledine came in second, 18-6," noted Heflin. "Marshall Rockey was first in the pole vault, 10-0, and David List was third, 9-0."

Savage continued his strong day with a first place in the high jump, clearing 6-2. Lars Jacobsen was first in the 300 hurdles, 46.61; followed by teammates Andrew Arotca, second, 48.41 and Michael Beeman, third, 48.50.

Andy Schmidt was third in the 800, 2:23, the team took second in the 1600 relay at 3:57.

Bacay claimed first place in the 200 in 22.6, Castledine was third in 24.24.

"First place in the two-mile (3200) went to Shane Brookshire, 11:41," Heflin said. "That kid is nails, he works really hard."

At the Saturday Invitational, the varsity boys came out on top in the small schools division, amassing 141 points.

"It was a beautiful day at Pacific Grove, we took 57 kids and we use parent transportation," Heflin said. "The parents make it possible for a lot of track kids to go to these events and I really appreciate that."

First place efforts on the day came from Bacay, 220 yards, 23.5; Savage, high jump, 6-0; 100, Bacay, 11.77; and triple jump, Castledine, 38-6. Second place showings were notched by the mile relay team, 3:46; Sawyer, shotput, 41-4; Lars Jacobsen, 120 hurdles, 17.96; 330 yard intermediate hurdles, Lars Jacobsen, 45.94; pole vault (tie) John Yater and Kyle Courtright, 8-6; discus, Kurt Kale, 122-0.

Taking thirds were Kyle Dunbar, 120 hurdles, 19.84; Marc Backovich, mile, 4:51; Jake Brown, discus, 120-0. Fourth place honors went to Backovich, two-mile, 10:39; Castledine, long jump, 18-3; Lars Jacobsen, 100, 12.45; Kyle Dunbar, 330 intermediate hurdles, 52.19. Finishing fifth were Shane Brookshire, two-mile, 10:53; Brookshire, mile, 5:00; Sawyer, discus, 110-0. Brookshire also took a sixth place, in the 880, at 2:20.

Third overall honors went to the varsity girls, scoring 69 points, trailing second place Monte Vista Christian by just two points.

They brought home several top honors, though, with the 400 relay team taking first in 58.57. Jamie Landry tied the Escalon High School record and took first place at the Invitational with a pole vault mark of 8-6.

Amy Bixel was a two-time second place finisher, shotput 29-3 and discus, 85-8.

"That was 12 feet under her PR," Heflin noted.

Baroni was second in the 330 hurdles, 54.85. Third place finishers on the afternoon were Amanda Nunes, 100 yard dash, 14.06; French, high jump, 4-4. In fourth place were Baroni, 110 high hurdles, 19.44 and Nunes, 200, 29.7.

The JV boys took second place at the invitational with 89 points. Schmidt took second in the 2-mile at 11:09, Mike Stime was second in the high jump at 5-0. Dane Jacobsen finished third in the 220, Schmidt was third in the mile at 5:12. Fourth place honors went to Lucas Pitassi, pole vault, 8-0; Heath Dougherty, long jump, 16-2; and taking a fifth was Vance Waldeck in the mile, 5:18.

Second place overall honors went to the JV girls, they earned 90 points on the day. The mile relay took a first in 5:45, Marie Beard was second in the 2-mile at 14:30 and Mary Courtright third in 15:23.

Melissa Goff placed first in the pole vault at 6-0; Lauren Cosentino was first in 110 hurdles, 19.59. Beard was second in the mile, 6:39 and Courtright fourth, 6:57. Cosentino finished third in the 220 yard dash, Beard was third in the 880 yard event in 2:59. Goff took a third in the high jump, 4-4.

"There were about 22 schools there and in the small schools division, about 12," said Heflin, noting that his squads performed well.

They get back to league action on Wednesday, April 28, hosting Hilmar.