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Varsity Boys Cruise To Cross Country Title
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Sweeping the top spot in all four races, Escalon runners put on quite a show at the Trans-Valley League meet at Legion Park in Modesto on Wednesday.

The varsity boys won the league title, topping Hughson and Riverbank at the meet, while the varsity girls finished second behind a powerful Riverbank squad. The JV boys and JV girls races had Cougar runners in the top spot.

"For our boys, Marc Backovich won it handily," said coach Rick Heflin.

Backovich ran the varsity course at Legion Park in 17:06, leading the Cougars to a 30-58 win over Hughson. Riverbank was third with 62 points. Second place went to Shane Brookshire, with Randy Huntington, Vance Waldeck, Andy Schmidt, Sam Goulet and Ryan Sughrue rounding out Escalon's top seven finishers.

"Most of my guys were in the top 15," Heflin added.

The varsity boys, along with claiming the league championship for the first time in a few years, were undefeated, posting a 5-0 mark.

Meanwhile, the varsity girls were paced by Amanda Moreno in first place, turning in a time of 19:20.

"Then there were seven Riverbank girls," said Heflin.

Riverbank was a 20-47 winner over Escalon. Next across the line for the Cougars was Aprille Ray, followed by Mary Courtright, Annelyse Delucchi, Marie Beard, Mckenzie Brown and Sarah Quiroz.

"Those are my top seven girls going into subsections," explained Heflin. "We finished 4-1 in league."

For the JV boys, Thomas Ray took first place, hitting the finish line in 12:00 flat. Second place went to Lucas Pitassi, Scott Backovich finished sixth. The JV girls were led by Katie Kaech, first place in 14:16, with Megan Moore, Faryn Bolls, Hollee Turner, Monica Haarberg, Melissa Goff and Jessica Franklin following her across the finish line.

"This marks the first time in TVL history that one school has taken all four individual races," Heflin pointed out. "I did not expect that."

Next up for the runners will be subsection competition, set for Saturday, Nov. 6 at Bret Harte. The Cougars have already been on the course in Angels Camp a couple of times this season and, with work done earlier during a training weekend at Bear River Reservoir, feel ready to take on the hilly terrain.

"I'm pretty excited about it," Heflin said.

First race of the day takes off at 12:35 p.m.