It was a big week for Escalon’s cross country runners, as it was one of their harder weeks of practice and included two meets.
“On Wednesday, we faced the whole Trans-Valley League at the first league meet,” said head coach Rick Heflin. “The JV and varsity boys won both of their races. We have a strong threesome leading the Cougars on varsity with Juan Lopez, Sam Fletcher, and Gabe Romero. Finishing up the group are Rex Robbins, Troy Bedell, and Alex Jimenez.”
On the JV side Heflin said they have newcomer Ethan Resendes, Moises Grajeda, and David Plascencia followed by Braiden Vega, and Andres Cornejo.
“With 40 boys on the team there is a lot of competition for the top five spots on both teams,” Heflin said. “The girls team is very small this year and getting everyone up to a competitive speed will be a challenge but we do have a strong start with Jackie Lau, Lizeth Calderon and Marisol Aguayo.”
The team traveled to the Lowell Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 9 in Golden Gate Park. Most races had 200-plus runners from all divisions.
“I was very pleased with the outcomes. Our varsity boys placed 14th in a very talented Division One field. Juan, Sam, and Gabe all recorded times in the 16’s for a 2.93 mile course which when converted to a 5k distance gives them all times in the 17’s.”
Romero is the only runner of the three that has broken the 18-minute barrier before.
“Most runners ran a PR (Personal Record) on Saturday. It was a fun day to run,” added Heflin.
The freshman boys and the sophomore boys all placed well. Most runners posted 30-second to one-minute PR’s.
“It is amazing what a few fewer degrees and new scenery will do for your time,” Heflin said. “The girls also did very well. Jackie Lau posted our fastest girl’s time for our team with a 21:24 for the 2.93 miles.”
Overall, said Heflin, the trip to the Saturday invite was a success.
“The team would like to thank all of the parents that took the time to drive and those that donated for our team picnic,” Heflin said. “The team is working hard and all coaches are excited about what this group can do.”
Saturday, Sept. 16, the teams are scheduled to travel to the Bret Harte Invitational at Frogtown.