By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Cougar Runners Set Personal Bests At State
Running a familiar course, at Woodward Park in Fresno, Escalon's two State Meet cross country participants put an exclamation point on their high school running careers.

Seniors Pearl Rivers and Matt 'Fuzzy' Barnum suited up for the Cougars in Saturday's state race and both came away with a solid effort, each setting a new personal best time on the state course.

"Both kids ran personal course records, the fastest they have run on that course," coach Rick Heflin said. "They both did really well, I can't complain."

Rivers finished with a 23rd placing showing in the state meet, running the course in 19:13. Barnum was 50th in his race, running the course in 16:43. For both, it was their best race on the Woodward Park course. When they last ran there in the state meet, Heflin said, Rivers ran in the 19:50s and Barnum was over 17 minutes.

"That's the first time he has broken into the 16s on that course so they've both improved quite a bit," Heflin said.

The coach, runners and several teammates made the trip to Fresno on Friday, getting there a day ahead of time so they wouldn't have to rush on the day of the race. The strategy seemed to work, as both Rivers and Barnum made the most of their final high school competition.

"They did a real nice job representing Escalon for four years," Heflin said.