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Runners Ready For Fresno Meet
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One more time, Escalon's varsity cross country teams will lace up the shoes and hit the course, this time on the biggest stage of all, the State Cross Country Meet in Fresno.

Fourteen runners will make the trip, seven on the varsity boys team, seven on the varsity girls squad.

Coach Rick Heflin said there will be workouts this week, despite having just a couple of days of school and then the Thanksgiving break.

"These kids have made it because they work," Heflin said of continuing to practice. "We're at the point now where they're either going to do it or not."

With strong team performances in the Section meet, the varsity teams qualified for the State Meet. They will leave Friday, heading out after enjoying family time and the holiday meal on Thursday.

"We'll have a workout Thursday, something really light," Heflin said. "Then we leave Friday to go down, we'll practice together that day."

Races for the Escalon teams begin with the varsity boys event at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27 and the varsity girls at 12:35 p.m.

Heflin said he's confident the teams will be ready to put their best foot forward when the races begin on Saturday. And, unlike wrestling, where competitors have to be wary of what they eat so they can make their weight, runners are in a different category.

"We're running 50 miles a week, these kids eat more than most football players," Heflin said, noting they can all load up on Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, potatoes and more.

Last year, the Cougars sent just two individual runners to the State Meet, Amanda Moreno and Marc Backovich. This year, those two will lead their teams into the event.

Moreno will be joined on the varsity girls squad by Aprille Ray, Marie Beard, Mary Courtright, Mckenzie Brown, Annelyse Delucchi and Sam Metzler. Varsity boys, along with Backovich, are Randy Huntington, Andy Schmidt, Vance Waldeck, Ryan Sughrue, Shane Brookshire and Sam Goulet.