With their busiest week of the season now behind them, the Escalon cross country team is taking stock of what was accomplished.
“First of all the team would like to thank all the people in town that donated to the cross country team for our jog-a-thon. I was asked earlier this week what Escalon is known for. The easy answer might be sports or ag,” noted head coach Rick Heflin. “What Escalon has always been great about is supporting any team or program that helps kids get opportunities or successes. Thank you, Escalon.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 25 the Cougars traveled to Modesto for the second Trans-Valley League meet of the season.
“We call it PR (personal record) day,” said Heflin. “We have already run this course once so this was our chance to gauge our improvement. We may not be the best team in the league yet, but 90 percent of the team crushed their previous times from the meet three weeks ago.”
Heflin said while the runners hoped to beat their times, they ended up, literally, crushing them.
“Many runners posted time one to two minutes faster than last time. Briana Briones-Chavarria won the girls varsity race with a time of 19:51. Her first time to break into the 19’s this year,” Heflin pointed out. “The varsity boys placed third by two points behind last meet’s winner Hughson. Riverbank took the top spot this time.”
Escalon’s varsity boys team was led by Gabe Romero 17:55, Braiden Vega 18:07, Juan Lopez 18:31, Mikey Freitas 18:44, Alex Calderon 19:42 and Clayton Ferreira 19:57; all were personal bests for the season.
The frosh/soph girls also placed third and were led by Kim Abney 15:01, Belen Lechuga-Soto 15:02, Gorette Coelho 15:26, Marianna Peralta 16:28, Molly Terpstra 16:31, Ryan Walker 17:03, Rachel Farley 17:07.
Pacing the effort of the frosh/soph boys were Joshua Churchill 12:24, Jacen Peoples 12:33 and TJ McNeil 12:50.
The next big adventure was training weekend, where the athletes were to test their abilities against the mountain at about 7000 elevation.
“After the main run up the mountain for six to 10 miles the team comes back with a new confidence that is hard to get running down here with small hills,” said Heflin. “The mind will accept what you train your body to endure. Our training weekend is just another type of training we use to make our athletes the best they can be.”