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Runners Make Mark At Frogtown Subsections
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They seem to be getting stronger as the season goes along.

And, for coach Rick Heflin, that was the goal from the start.

Escalon's cross country runners had a strong showing at the Saturday subsections in Angels Camp, with 33 of 38 runners participating moving on to the Section meet in Folsom.

"In our varsity boys, we were rated third in the section going in, we're second now," he said, noting that his Cougars took second place to Colfax in the subsection competition. Colfax had 35 points, Escalon was second with 78, followed by Bret Harte, third, 98 and Amador, fourth, 108.

Top finisher for Escalon was Marc Backovich, second overall in 16:28 on the three-mile course at Frogtown. Randy Huntington was 13th, 17:21, followed by Shane Brookshire, 15th, 17:32; Vance Waldeck, 22nd, 17:57; Andy Schmidt, 31st, 18:39; Ryan Sughrue, 42nd, 19:07; Sam Goulet, 50th, 19:27. The varsity squad moves to the Section meet.

"Those are my varsity seven and they're looking good right now," said Heflin. "My girls were third, Riverbank won it with 30 points, Bret Harte was second with 52 and Escalon was third with 69 points."

The third place finish puts the varsity girls into the Section meet as well.

Amanda Moreno took first place honors overall, running the course in 18:59.

"She was first by about 35 seconds," noted Heflin.

Second runner across the line for Escalon was Aprille Ray, 15th overall in 21:27. Next came Annelyse Delucchi, 16th, 21:35; Mary Courtright, 24th, 22:15; Mckenzie Brown, 25th, 22:22; Marie Beard, 38th, 23:45.

"In our junior girls race, the top five teams from Division II, IV and V go and we were fifth so we are going on to Sections," the coach said.

Making up that squad were Sarah Quiroz, 18th, 23:36; Samantha Metzler, 20th, 23:42; Lauren Brown, 27th, 24:22; Katie Baroni, 30th, 24:44; Sophia Vasquez, 63rd, 28:52.

Placer was first in the division with 18 points, followed by St. Francis with 89, Oakmont 90, Bret Harte 98 and Escalon 129.

The frosh-soph girls also qualified for the Section, coming in as the fifth place squad. Five teams per division continue on and Escalon runners were paced by Faryn Bolls, ninth overall, with Megan Moore 12th, Monica Haarberg 15th, Hollee Turner 22nd, Melissa Goff 32nd, Kayla Ryan 44th, Rachel Moret 45th.

"Katie Kaech has been our number one runner in that division for weeks but she was sick, she couldn't finish the race," Heflin pointed out. "But she will be going to Sections, Rachel Moret said she would step out to allow Katie to run."

In the junior boys, with several sophomores making the jump to the higher level to field an Escalon team, the squad took fifth and will also move on. Placer was first with 37 points, followed by Colfax 38, Oakmont 63, Amador 112 and Escalon 130.

"Leading us in that race was Derek Woodmansee, 20th overall in 19:54," said Heflin.

Lucas Pitassi was 34th in 20:52, followed by Matt Heflin, 37th, 20:55; Colin Riggs, 52nd, 21:50; Scott Backovich, 57th, 22:08; Chris Bentley, 79th, 26:42.

In the freshman boys race, Thomas Ray of Escalon was fifth overall in 13:09 for the 2-mile course.

"It was gorgeous and hot," Heflin said of the conditions at Frogtown on Saturday. "It was pretty warm but everybody did a great job. I can't even count the number of PRs we got, we were popping some times."

The Cougars will move on for the Section competition at Folsom, set for Saturday, Nov. 13. First race - varsity girls - takes off at 12:35 p.m.