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Cougars Claim Titles At League Track Meet
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Finishing second to rival Riverbank in both the boys and girls divisions at the Trans-Valley League track and field championships, Cougar coach Rick Heflin said he was satisfied with the showing.

"I'm the largest team, have some great talent but no depth," he pointed out.

Riverbank boys claimed the league title with 146 points at Modesto Junior College in the Wednesday competition, Escalon was second with 111 points.

"We got seven champions out of 14 events," Heflin said of his varsity boys.

For the girls, they finished a more distant second to Riverbank, scoring 97 points to the Lady Bruins' 156. But they also had two league champions, each taking crowns in two different events.

Medals were awarded up to third place at the league meet, while points were awarded through the sixth place finisher. Top three in each event advance to the subsections this week at MJC, with the fourth place finisher an alternate, going if one of the top three bows out.

Leading the way for the Escalon boys was Vynce Bacay, who claimed three league titles. He was first in the 100 meters at 10.96, first in the 200 at 22.44 and also won the triple jump at 41-11.25.

"Vynce ends a stunning career in league," said Heflin, noting that they felt he had a good chance to win titles in the running events. "Three league championships, we were not expecting the triple jump."

Bacay will go on in all three events at subsections and hit a pizza mark in the triple jump.

Marcus Savage won both the high jump and long jump titles at the league meet, jumping 5-10 in the high jump and measuring 20-05.50 in the long jump, making a pizza mark.

"Marcus has just been having a struggle getting things done in the high jump but he was good enough to win," Heflin said. "We're hoping he gets on a good streak here. In the long jump, he did that strictly as a team player, we just did it for the points and he won."

Savage has opted to participate only in high jump at the subsections, concentrating on that. It will allow Chris Castledine, who finished fourth in the long jump at 19-04 to continue in that event.

Also winning league titles for Escalon were Marshall Rockey in the 400, 52.75 and Jake Brown in the discus, at 131-05.

"Jake and his uncle, they come over to the school and throw almost every night, that's what you can do when you put in the extra time," Heflin said of the junior earning a league crown.

For the girls, double winners were Amanda Nunes and Amanda Moreno, bringing league titles home to Escalon.

Nunes claimed the 100 and 200 crowns, winning the 100 in 12.82 and the 200 in 27.09.

"That's the first time she's broken into the 12s in the 100 and she hit a pizza mark," Heflin said. "Last year, she didn't even qualify for subs, this year she wins two league titles."

Moreno was also a standout, winning the 1600 and 3200 and setting two new league records in the process.

In the 1600, her time of 5:06.23 broke the previous mark of 5:17 held by EHS graduate Jennifer Stief. In the 3200, she ran an 11:32, besting the old mark by five seconds.

"We also had Amy Bixel take third in the discus, Katie Baroni was third in both the hurdle events and both our four-by-100 and four-by-400 teams will move on to the subs," Heflin noted.

The four-by-100 runners took third and include Lauren Brown, Lauren Cosentino, Katie Baroni and Amanda Nunes. The four-by-400 team was fourth but will advance with one of the top three dropping out. That squad features Marie Beard, Mary Courtright, Melissa Goff and Nunes.

Others earning points for the Lady Cougars during the competition were Jamie Landry, fourth, 100 meters, 13.48; Samantha Draper, second, 800 meters, 2:31.09 and Mary Courtright, fifth, 2:42.72; Jamie Landry, second, pole vault, 9-0. Also, Katie Baroni, third, 100 meter hurdles, 17.76 and Lauren Brown, fourth, 18.22; Baroni, third, 300 meter hurdles, 53.39; Sandi French, sixth, triple jump, 30-02.75; Amy Bixel, fifth, shotput, 29-10; Bixel, third, discus, 98-03.

For the boys, additional points came from Chris Castledine, sixth, 200 meters, 23.93; Marcus Savage, fifth, 400 meters, 54.08; Randy Huntington, fifth, 800 meters, 2:09.40; Shane Brookshire, fourth, 1600, 4:42.14. Also, Lars Jacobsen, second, 110 hurdles, 16.36; the men's four-by-100 relay team, fourth; men's four-by-400 relay team, fifth; Marshall Rockey, third, pole vault, 12-0; Castledine, fourth, triple jump, 40-01; Mike Sawyer, fourth, discus, 127-02.

"We got PR's right and left and some people really stepped it up, Brookshire came in and ran a 4:42 in the 1600, his best time before that was five minutes flat," Heflin explained. "I was very proud of the team."

Subsection action continues Thursday, May 20 at Modesto Junior College.