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Cross Country Runs Strong At Trans-Valley League Final
Making his way up the hill during action earlier this season at the Escalon Invitational, senior Eddy Calderon finished second for Escalon behind teammate Zack Gardner at the final TVL meet, the Cougars overall finishing in second place in league. Marg Jackson/The Times

Escalon’s frosh/soph boys won the final Trans-Valley League race of the season in dominating fashion.

“Even though we had moved four frosh/soph runners to varsity all season, our frosh/soph still came through,” said head coach Rick Heflin. “Taking second overall in 11:33 was Xavier Chavez, third in 11:45 was Zach Pickett.”

Also finishing in the top 10 were: sixth Moises Grajeda in 12:07, seventh Andres Cornejo in 12:15, eighth Jayden Lopez in 12:18, 10th David Plascencia in 12:24. Escalon’s final runner was Gino Stern, 13th in 12:34. Escalon’s final score was 26 to get the win, followed by Riverbank 56, Ripon 75 and Hughson 77.

Escalon’s varsity girls placed second behind Hughson.

“Leading our group was Yajaira Salinas in seventh, earning her all-league status, in 21:00,” said Heflin.

Next in 11th was Nora Nash, 21:38, 14th Jackie Lau 22:08, 16th Marisol Aguayo in 22:14, 26th Gabriella Avalos in 23:55, 30th Lizeth Calderon in 24:11, and 47th Emily McPherrin in 26:45.

Hughson took first place to win the meet with 17 points, followed by Escalon 71, Ripon 80, Riverbank 83, Hilmar 138 and Mountain House 144.

Varsity boys closed out the regular season with an outstanding effort, coming up just a little short against Hughson.

“Last time these two teams faced each other Hughson won by 20 points. If they had not moved their top runner up for this race, we would have won,” noted Heflin. “Our boys team has been improving all year.”

Leading the group was Zack Gardner placing third in 17:36, fourth was Eddy Calderon in 17:38 and sixth, breaking into the 17s for the first time, was Gabe Romero in 17:45.

“All three earned all-league honors,” Heflin said.

Finishing 11th was Sam Fletcher in 18:12, 13th Emiliano Ramirez in 18:25, 15th Juan Lopez in 18:30, and 16th was Rex Robbins in 18:36.

“Except for two runners all Escalon runners ran their personal record on the course that day,” added Heflin. “As a group we shaved over an hour off our collective times since the first league race. We have at least one more race to run. Next Saturday (Nov. 5) is the subsection meet at Bret Harte.”