After a bit of a slow start getting kids out, the Escalon High School cross country team now is at 50-plus athletes and they are “getting in shape,” according to head coach Rick Heflin.
“During the summer we had a running program. Many athletes ran quite a few miles but only two made the 300-mile club, Alex Calderon and Briana Briones,” Heflin explained. “It makes sense that Alex improved his time at Lodi by three minutes from last year and Briana placed 10th overall in the varsity Division 1 girls race with a time of 20:36 for 3.1 miles. She was our only varsity girl.”
The sophomore girls, meanwhile, saw a one-two punch from newcomers Samantha Torres and Chloe Hernandez at 15:33 and 15:38 for two miles. Freshman girls were led by Jill Junqueiro at 17:41.
“The boys had a great first outing,” Heflin added.
Varsity boys were led by Braiden Vega, Gabe Romero, Juan Lopez, Emiliano Ramirez and AJ Jimenez with times of 18:13, 18:39, 19:05, 19:22 and 19:27, respectively.
Sophomore boys were paced by newcomer CJ Borrego and returners Ryan Belleto and Connor Lambeth.
“Leading the JV boys were a bunch of runners looking to move up to varsity, Moises Grajeda, Ross Calderon, Alex Calderon, Max Teague, Miguel Marmol and Clayton Ferreira at 12:23, 12:32, 12:33, 13:00, 13:01, and 13:15.”
The only freshman boy at the Lodi event for Escalon was Juan Diego Sanchez, running the course in 14:34.
“Our next meet will be the Trans-Valley League opener on Sept. 5 at Legion Park,” Heflin said.