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Track, Field Season Wraps For Cougars
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Coming off a suspenseful win at Sections, freshman Yajaira Salinas turned in a solid effort at the Master’s Meet in Elk Grove, but did not qualify for the State Track and Field Meet.

Coach Roger Beeman said this season has been a great one for Salinas, with the future bright for the talented young runner.

“Yajaira electrified the crowd with a late charge to win the 800 meter championship in new personal best time of 2:19.85,” Beeman said of her effort at the Section event.

There was a moment of suspense following the race when a protest was filed claiming that Salinas had tripped a runner and should be disqualified.

“The leader was exhausted and started staggering about twenty meters from the finish. She collapsed when Yajaira passed her with about ten meters to go,” Coach Beeman explained. “There was no push or trip at all, and the original decision was ‘no foul - the results stand.’ The girl’s coach filed a protest, but it was denied after a lengthy discussion, and Yajaira kept the victory.”

She rode that momentum in to Elk Grove for the Master’s Meet.

“Champions from all five divisions met last week at Elk Grove High School for the Master’s Meet,” Beeman noted. “The top three athletes in each event advance to the State Championship Meet.”

Escalon qualified Matt Gallego in the discus and Section champion Salinas in the 800. Both athletes performed well but did not advance.

“Yajaira ran her second best time (2:23.23) but placed 17th overall. Her Section time of 2:19 would have been eighth,” said Beeman. “Another second and a half improvement would have gotten her to State. Matt managed only 126’6” for a disappointing 22nd place, but he impressed the crowd with two foul throws of over 150 feet – and 153’5” qualified for State this year.”

The good news is both will return, as Salinas is just a freshman and Gallego is a junior.

“We had a great season. The kids performed at a very high level. We were very successful at the Section Meet, and our two Masters athletes are coming back next year,” Beeman said.

Coach Danny King had two runners at Sections, Coach Kenny Draper had two vaulters, Coach Mike Wright had two throwers, and Coach Carrie Nash had a Section champ.

“Not bad; it shows we have a great balance of talent at Escalon,” boasted Beeman.