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JV Track, Field Talent Shines At Rotary
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Making up a track meet with Hilmar on Tuesday, the Cougars were rained out on Thursday and won't re-schedule that meet with Livingston.

They were winners at home against the Hilmar team, though, with the girls edging out the Yellowjackets, 71-65, and the boys taking an easy 101-34 victory.

Both girls' varsity teams went into the match with perfect records; Escalon came out with a 5-0 mark, Hilmar with a 4-1 mark.

"We didn't win a single field event against Hilmar," pointed out coach Rick Heflin. "Our track stepped it up."

Winners were Amanda Moreno in the 800, 1600 and 3200, Simone Lionudakis in the 400 and Amanda Nunes in the 100 and 200. The girls also took the four-by-100 relay, and the four-by-400 relay event.

On the boys side, wins came in the four-by-100 relay, with Tony Azevedo winning the triple jump, Jaremy Puthoff the long jump and Marcus Savage the high jump. Shane Brookshire won the 1600, Andy Schmidt was first in the 3200, Sam Goulet won the 400 and Antonio Hernandez was first in the 800. In the shot put, Mike Sawyer took first while Jake Brown was first in the discus event. Michael Beeman won the 300 low hurdles and taking the pole vault was Lucas Pitassi.

Thursday, the Cougars were slated to take on Livingston but rainy weather forced postponement. With the league meet looming, coach Heflin said the decision was made to cancel the head-to-head meeting.

Instead, they will battle it out at the TVL for league championship honors.

Friday, the school played host to the annual Escalon Rotary JV Invitational and the girls were winners, the boys finished second to Riverbank.

"They got nipped by three points," Heflin said of the JV boys.

Rain both Wednesday and Thursday put the annual invitational in doubt, but Heflin said they were able to get it in with lots of extra work done to get the track and field in useable condition.

For the boys, there were plenty of outstanding performances, including that of Jaremy Puthoff, who was voted Male Athlete of the Meet.

He was first in the 100, 11.47; first in the long jump with a personal record of 20-9 1/2; ran the anchor leg of the winning four-by-100 meter team; and finished second in the 200 in 24.77.

Joining Puthoff on the relay team were Taylor Hawkins, Heath Dougherty and Rocky Overturf. They won the four-by-100 in 48.08.

Hawkins added a fourth place showing in the 400, 58.41; Overturf tied for second in the 100 at 11.94.

In other events, the JV Cougar boys had a fourth place finish in the high jump, 5-4, by Carl Aufdermaur and fifth place, 5-2, by Mike Stime. Mike Beeman finished first in the 110 high hurdles in 17.0 and first in the 300 low hurdles, 45.24. Anthony Loogman finished in a three-way tie for second in pole vault at 9-0, Matt Heflin was third in the 300 low hurdles in 48.39 and Loogman was sixth in that event, 49.20.

Mike Swanson was fifth in the long jump at 17-6 1/2, Anthony Aho finished second in the shot put with a throw of 40-8.

For the girls, who easily outdistanced their competitors on the day, Simone Lionudakis paced the team with a first place showing in the long jump, 15-2; first in the high jump, 4-8; first in the 400, 1:08.90; and third in the triple jump, 29-8 1/2. Teammate Melissa Goff was third in the long jump at 12-8 and Katie Kaech took fourth, 11-8 1/2. Goff added a fifth place showing in the pole vault with a personal best 7-6, Kaech was fourth in the high jump at 4-2 and Goff was sixth in that event at 6-0.

In the shot put, Megan McNinch was second at 30-2, Jessica Moore was fourth at 25-10 and Brittney Brunetti was fifth with a throw of 25-3. McNinch was also second in the discus with a new personal record of 95-1; Brunetti was third with a PR of 88-9; Moore fourth with an 81-0 PR and Ashley Courtade took sixth at 73-8 1/2. Mckenzie Brown took second in the pole vault, clearing 8-6. Cynthia Lopez was second in the 1600 at 5:51 and Marie Beard finished sixth for the JV girls, 6:34.

In the 110 high hurdles, Angela Draper was second at 20.91 and Morgan Brown was sixth at 23.34. Draper also finished fourth in the 100 meters, clocking a time of 14.58. Taking third in the two-mile was Beard, 15:29, while Lopez took second in the 800 at 2:39.79 and Annelyse Delucchi was third at 2:44.

Medals were given away to the first through sixth place finishers in each event and members of the Escalon Rotary Club were on hand to keep times and help tabulate results of the meet.

While the Friday meet showcased the JV talent for the Cougars, many of them will be on hand to participate at the varsity level for the Trans-Valley League meet Wednesday, May 11 at Stanislaus State.

"There are three teams on both sides that are in the serious hunt for the title," said Heflin. "For the girls, we will battle it out with Hilmar and Riverbank, for the boys, it's going to come down to Livingston, Riverbank and Escalon."

And with only 12 seniors on the team of roughly 100 competitors, Heflin said that bodes well for the seasons to come.

"Our team will probably be bigger next year, more intense," he said.

The field events begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, running events at noon.