The number this year for Escalon cross country runners is 25, with more than two dozen athletes still lacing up the running shoes.
“We have 25 runners moving on to sections. Last year the number was 16,” said coach Rick Heflin. “Also this year is the first time in a few years, four for boys and two for girls, that we have qualified varsity teams.”
Subsection action was hosted in Angels Camp, with both varsity boys and girls placing in the top 10.
The varsity boys were 10th overall.
Kyle Jimenez and Zach Gardner virtually came in together to lead the boys team at 18:26. Next was Eddie Calderon with a personal best for the course at 18:50 followed by Luga Mendoza 19:58, John Lunn 20:33, Ryan Schuurman 20:45, and Jarod Blakeley 21:42.
Varsity girls placed ninth.
“With two of our top three runners out for the season, placing ninth just shows how deep our talent is on the girls side,” said Heflin. “Yajaira Salinas had a stress fracture and Marisol Aguayo broke her ankle in practice on Wednesday. The only one of the three that shared the top spot this year was Nora Nash and she put in a solid effort finishing the course in 22:16.”
She was followed by Leone Rivers in 22:37, Sierra Hernandez 23:37, Emily Avalos 23:41, Avery Mello 23:52, Veronica Grajeda 24:23.
JV girls tied for second but had the faster sixth place finisher so they were awarded second place.
Leading that group was freshman Gabrielle Rigg 23:44, Nicole Luis 24:44, Flor Algandar 25:32, Allie Panero 25:52, Farley Moore 26:12, Esmer Aguayo 26:14, Kimi Boss 26:32.
Also qualifying for sections were Tristin King, Jasmin Elisalde, Jared Wheeler, and Lucas Guadagnolo.
“Thank you again to all the parents, community members and sports boosters that have supported the team this year,” Heflin said.
Section competition will be Saturday, Nov. 15 at Folsom High. First race is at noon.