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Trans-Valley League Kicks Off Cross Country Campaign

The first Trans-Valley League Meet of the cross country season is in the books and Escalon squads showed well.

“On the varsity girls side leading our team and winning the race was sophomore Briana Briones in 20:29. Last year she didn’t run because she had ACL surgery from a soccer injury. She worked very hard this summer to build her leg strength back,” said coach Rick Heflin. “Overall the girls team placed fourth.”

The varsity boys placed third and Escalon’s top five were Braiden Vega 18:35, Gabe Romero 19:04, Juan Lopez 19:22, Alex Jimenez 19:25, Emiliano Ramirez 19:36.

The frosh/soph boys team placed fourth at the TVL meet. Leading the team were Josh Corralez, Ryan Belleto, and CJ Borrego at 12:49, 12:49, and 12:56. The frosh/soph girls placed fourth also. Belen Lechuga-Soto 17:09, Julia Avila 17:19, Ailyn Mendez 18:22, Rachel Lau 18:33 and Tess Bedell 18:37 were the top five.

“Saturday we traveled to Golden Gate Park to run in the Lowell Invitational. This is a Division 1 meet with 300 plus-runners in each race,” Heflin said. “The race course is a little longer, 2.13 miles for the frosh/soph runners and shorter for the other races, 2.93 miles.”

With a fast course and cooler temperatures, the coach said they often see personal records for the varsity distances.

“The story of the day was Briana Briones. She placed 22nd and earned the only medal of the day. Her time was 18:42 which converts to a 19:48 5k. Her first sub-20 minute performance,” noted the coach.

The frosh/sop girls placed 19th and the sophomore boys placed 18th.

The JV boys placed 15th and the varsity boys placed 18th out of 29 teams.

“Leading our team was Braiden Vega with his first sub-18 performance. He placed 80th in 16:56 which converts to a 17:54.”

This week is the kickoff for the team fundraiser, the annual jog-a-thon which pays for uniforms, equipment, team shirts, training weekend and travel expenses to some of the meets.

“We have always had great support from the Escalon community and we hope to earn it again this year,” Heflin said.