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Third Place Efforts For Cougar Runners
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Both the varsity boys and varsity girls placed third at the first Trans-Valley League cross country meet of the season, running Wednesday in Modesto.

For the varsity boys, they finished behind first place Riverbank and second place Hughson. Escalon’s top seven were: Eddie Calderon, seventh overall, 18:36; Kyle Jimenez, ninth, 18:49; Zack Gardner, 10th, 18:50; Luga Mendoza, 17th, 19:51; Ryan Schuurman, 30th, 20:54; John Rivara, 37th, 21:24; Troy Bedell, 44th, 21:58.

“Eddie who was our third runner last year but worked in the winter, ran track, and put some serious work in during the summer,” said head coach Rick Heflin. “It seems to be paying off as he led the varsity team. Newcomer Troy Bedell earned a spot on the top seven as a sophomore. It will be fun to see how he progresses.”

For the varsity girls, it was also a third place finish and the top two girls teams were the same as the boys, Riverbank taking first and Hughson finishing second.

Yajaira Salinas was sixth overall and first across the line for Escalon in a time of 22:21. Nora Nash was 15th, 23:27; followed by Veronica Grajeda, 16th, 23:57; Marisol Aguayo, 18th; Sierra Hernandez, 19th; Jackie Lau, 26th and rounding out the top seven for Escalon was Nicole Luis, 27th overall in 24:55.

“Yajaira is starting to get her legs strong from a couple of injuries last year and her times are dropping,” noted Heflin. “Jackie Lau as a sophomore steps up to varsity in her first season of cross country. She should be fun to watch over the next two years.”

Leading the JV girls was Lizeth Calderon in 12th place with a time of 16:19.

“This year we got quite a few frosh boys to add to a JV team,” said Heflin.

At the TVL meet, the JV boys took second, finishing behind Hughson. Ninth place overall was Tim Megenney at 13:29, followed by Daniel Luis in 10th at 13:30.

Also running well for the JV boys were Josh Teske, 12th, 13:49; Trenton Nascimento, 15th, 14:27; Scott Terpstra, 22nd, 15:36; Ian McCulloch, 25th, 16:09 and Victor Gonzalez, 28th, 16:24.

“Some are freshmen and some are sophomores but all are first year runners so plan on seeing a lot improvement over the year,” Heflin said of what to expect during the season. “As a team we are a little smaller in size with only 37 members but this group is a lot more connected and positive than in the recent past so I am very excited about how the team will improve over the season. The team is working very hard.”

Next up for the squad is a trip to the Condor Invitational in Salinas on Saturday, Sept. 12 and then they will travel to the Mother Lode League Meet on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at Argonaut.