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Track, Field Season Ends For Cougars
A heat of the 110 high hurdles saw Cougar Caleb Hansen turn in a solid time. - photo by Jonamar Jacinto/The Times

It wasn’t the way the season typically ends. In fact, in Roger Beeman’s tenure with the Escalon Cougars, for the first time ever, no one is moving on to the Masters Meet for track and field.

“We didn’t even score a point at Sections,” Beeman said of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V competition, staged May 14 and 16.

“We had some of our best marks,” noted Beeman, “real good performances, real good marks but no qualifiers.”

Seniors Alec VonAlvensleben and Samantha Shipley turned in outstanding efforts in just their first year with the team.

VonAlvensleben was seventh in the long jump, hitting the 20-foot mark for the second time this season.

“Fifth place advances (to Masters) and sixth scores points, we were seventh,” Beeman said.

Shipley finished her season with an eighth place showing in the high jump, eighth out of 24 competitors with a 4’ 9” mark.

“We only got to have Sam and Alec this year,” Beeman said, noting that the two did exceptional in walking on for their final high school year of eligibility.

For the underclassmen, there were solid marks as well.

Matt Gallego, sophomore, got his personal best by about four feet in the discus, with a ninth place finish out of 27 throwers at 132 feet, eight inches.

Caleb Hansen ran the high hurdles and clocked a time in the mid-17s, said Beeman, with sophomore Leone Rivers in the mid 28s in the 200.

“They did a good job,” said Beeman.

William Hart had a tough day in the pole vault, failing to make height, while Abby Liv was “a little short of her best” mark in the triple jump. Senior Kaitie Cavanaugh was close to a personal best with a throw of more than 29-0 in the shot put, while Julian Young competed in the high jump. Also qualifying for the divisionals but not competing was Adrian Garcia.

“Our top two finishers were the ones we had only one year,” Beeman pointed out.

He said the loss of those two seniors, VonAlvensleben and Shipley, will be tough but said the team will also miss the long-term leadership of senior Kaitie Cavanaugh. But with some solid underclassmen, the Cougars will look to have a strong season next year.

“We’ve got athletes on campus (for track and field), we just have to find them,” Beeman said.