It was a photo finish at the Trans-Valley League finals in cross country, with the Escalon and Riverbank varsity boys squads battling it out. The race was Wednesday, Oct. 25 in Modesto, closing out the regular season.
“I said the varsity race was going to be very competitive and it did not disappoint,” said Escalon head coach Rick Heflin. “The first eight runners were within 10 seconds of each other. Escalon got their first five runners that scored across the line first but Riverbank put two runners in the front of the race. Having the number one and two runners proved to be the difference.”
The final score from the top three teams were Riverbank 53, Escalon 56 and Hilmar 59.
“Leading the team this meet was Sam Fletcher placing sixth in the race,” said Heflin. “Right behind him in seventh was Juan Lopez.”
Rounding out Escalon’s top seven were Gabe Romero 12th, Rex Robbins 15th, Alex Jimenez 16th, Emiliano Ramirez 19th, and Xavier Chavez 23rd.
“A second place finish was still good enough to capture a Co-championship for the varsity team since they came into this race undefeated in league,” Heflin said, noting that it was an exciting battle and the Bruins just edged out the Cougars in the final scoring.
“The frosh/soph boys were leaving nothing to chance and easily earned their league championship,” Heflin said. “Placing first in the race was Braiden Vega with a time of 11:33. The first four runners across the finish line were from Escalon.”
Along with Vega, Escalon runners taking second through fourth, respectively, were Andres Cornejo, Ethan Resendez, and Moises Grajeda.
Miguel Plascencia placed eighth while David Plascencia was 10th, with Gino Stern taking 11th and Miguel Marmol finishing 13th.
On the girls side Jackie Lau took the 10th individual medal for the varsity girls.
“As a team we improved from our first TVL meet to this one by a collective time of over 64 minutes,” Heflin noted. “Next we travel to subsections on Nov. 4 in Angels Camp.”