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Cougars Advance Two To NorCal Masters
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Gathering himself prior to sending off the discus in earlier competition this season on the home field, senior Matthew Gallego qualified for the Masters Meet in both discus and shot. Also moving on is Yajaira Salinas, in the 800 meters. Marg Jackson/The Times


At the Section Divisional Meet at Stanislaus State, Escalon High School sophomore Yajaira Salinas ran 2:21 in the 800 meters to place third and advance to the Masters meet this Thursday and Friday at Elk Grove. Senior Matthew Gallego’s 141’4” discus throw also qualified for Masters. Gallego then came back and threw a big personal record of 46’4” in the shot put to finish second and qualify for Masters. The two standout Cougar athletes also qualified for Masters last year.

“The Divisional Meet featured athletes from over 70 teams from 13 leagues,” explained Escalon head coach Roger Beeman. “The top five finishers in each of the 16 events advanced to the NorCal Masters Meet.”

Athletes from all divisions and all schools compete at the Sac-Joaquin Section. From Masters, the top three finishers qualify for the State Meet.

Though only a pair of athletes from EHS are moving on from the divisions, Beeman said many other Cougars posted good marks at the meet as well. Senior Leone Rivers vaulted 9’0” and a personal record of 4’9” in the high jump placed her eighth. Junior Luis Estrada finished eleventh in the 300m hurdles with a personal best of 43.10. Nora Nash ran a great 1600m at 5:37.

Also showing well were Sam Lattig, 53.79 in the 400m; Caleb Hansen 16.11 in the 110m hurdles; Gallego high jumped 5’5”, Blake Stone jumped 5’2”, and Ryan Schuurman vaulted at 11’8”.

Alicia Williams competed in the discus, and all four relay teams ran well. The girls’ 4x100 (Sydney Lima, Alondra Rueda, Jackie Lau, Ashley Carreira) ran a season best 53.43, while the boys’ 4x100 (Josh Teske, Cameron Huff, Lattig, Rex Robbins) also had a season best at 46.63. The 4x400 relay teams ran 4:33.4 (girls: Gabby Rigg, Lima, Annie Wyrick, Farley Moore) and 3:50.23 (boys: Robbins, Lattig, Hansen, Jake Lewis).

“The kids did a great job at a really tough meet,” said Beeman. “This was our largest contingent at Divisionals in a long time. They really represented Escalon well.”

Having two athletes move to Masters is also reason for celebration.

“We’re really excited about Yajaira and Matt,” Beeman noted. “They should compete well at Masters. It was also fun to see our seniors (Gallego and Rivers) get some attention from a couple of college coaches.”