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Successful Season Ends For Runners At Section Meet
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Cougar cross country runners wrapped up their season with a strong overall showing at the Section Meet in Folsom on Saturday.

And while no one is moving on to the State Meet this year representing Escalon, head coach Rick Heflin said there were a number of top performances on the final day.

"Varsity girls improved 28 points from last week (sub sections) but fell short of making State by four points," Heflin explained. "The team has improved so much but so did the competition. Everyone gave their best and that is all we can ask for."

Breaking in to the top 10 at the Section competition was Sierra Lionudakis, 10th overall in 21:13. She was followed by Adriana Delucchi, 12th, 21:28; Samantha Cuddy, 26th, 22:03; Janelle Giuntoli, 29th, 22:20; Alana Kualapai, 34th, 22:53; Kelly Morales, 37th, 23:04 and Maggie Casteel, 43rd, 23:36.

"Sierra was just a few spots out of making it to State as an individual, Adriana and Sam made huge moves from last week to improve our team score," Heflin said.

The varsity girls finished fourth with 111 points, the top three teams go to the State Meet.

Boys varsity placed seventh with 201 points, one place higher than their finish at the subsection.

First for Escalon, 22nd overall was Alec Carpenter in 18:47. He was followed by Logan Stewart, 26th, 19:06; Josh Vandagriff, 36th, 19:31; Tanner Roark, 55th, 20:42; Robbie Leal, 62nd, 21:24 and Jake Carroll, 63rd, 21:38.

"Due to injury, Stuart Eachus didn't run but Robbie Leal stepped up his pace to make up the difference," explained Heflin. "The boys finished off the season with their best performance as a team."

The JV girls outraced Christian Brothers of Sacramento to take the Division 3-4-5 Section title and close out a successful season.

"Shannon Montgomery was the second overall finisher in the race, also having a huge day was Analucia Fernandez," noted Hef lin. "She took two minutes off her PR at the Section Meet. Nice time to run your best."

Montgomery ran the course in 24:19, followed by Fernandez, 25:09; Anna Baglione, 25:11; Jaimey Homen, 25:46; Hannah Beeler, 27:38; Brianda Meza, 29:02 and Rebecca Rangel, 32:46.

The frosh-soph girls took a third place finish with 74 points and included Jordyn Walden, 15:49; Leslie Garcia, 16:41; Patrice Rivara, 16:42; Natalie Calderon, 17:12; Marissa Dominguez, 17:53; Loan LaRossa, 17:54 and Karina Rodriguez, 20:08.

It was a fifth place finish for the sophomore boys, paced by Nathan Conner, 13:38; Cody Capps, 13:59; Ian Eachus, 14:29; Isaac Santa Rosa, 14:31; Joseph Fernandes, 14:45 and Brandon Puthoff, 15:40. Running in the JV boys was Philip Beck, turning in a time of 21:14, his best of the campaign.

With the season now over, Heflin was able to shave, after having promised his runners he would keep a beard until they were done competing.

"As much as I would have liked to keep it on until state, I didn't mind finally being able to feel my face again," he said.