Next Competition Section For Many Cougar Runners


Last Saturday, November 6, the Escalon Cross Country Team traveled to the Calaveras Fairgrounds to compete in the San Joaquin Branch competition.

They arrived early enough to watch the sun rise over the famous hill and enjoyed about perfect racing weather – a stark contrast to past seasons which brought changes of course on rainy days. or smoke from forest fires. They were competing against the other 36 schools in Division IV and ultimately had a strong performance. Some teams and individual riders have qualified to advance to sectional competition.

The day’s race began with the first-year boys’ race, in which the Cougars took second place as a team. The first two fought throughout the race, Nate Millard (13:49, 10th overall) taking a lead late in the race over his teammate Daniel Bagadiong (13:52, 11th overall). The score of five was complemented by an outstanding run from Calan Crumbley (14:04, 13th overall), Angel Romero (14:44) and Jake Sawyer (15:01).

The second year boys then continued the success, advancing as a team with their sixth place finish. Escalon’s top three riders found themselves in a final kicking battle as they entered the finish corners neck to neck and finished less than 1.2 seconds apart for 31 places at 33 overall. With a strong push to finish first, Marcos Grajeda (14: 03.2), followed by Jose Calderon (14: 04.1) and Julian Gonzalez (14: 04.4).

“It’s fun to watch teammates challenge each other like that,” said head coach Michael Bower. “It’s one thing to be neck and neck in training, but when you’re racing it’s different. Especially if you’ve never beaten this teammate before. I imagine they will be talking about this finish for a while.

The sophomore boys scoring five were completed by Jacob Beneux (15:11, 40th overall) and Joseph Corrales (20:06, 51 overall), who set a personal best of 2 miles on a much more difficult course and hilly compared to TVL. course at Jacob Myers Park.

The ball continued to roll as the frosh / soph girls’ race maintained the team’s success. They qualified for the sections finishing fourth as a team, missing the third by just one point. The Cougars were led by rookie Victoria Rich (16:05, 13th overall) and sophomore Hannah Wampler (16:42, 23rd overall). The next two have turned around since their TVL final, this time rookie Kali Castellanos (18:00, 40th overall), narrowly beating first-year good friend Emma Berchtold (18:01, 41st overall). Sophomore Destiny Reyes (18:08, 43rd overall) completed the scoring with sophomore teammate Kaleia Jones (21:34, 67th overall) acting as the mover.

The university races welcomed very strong and talented teams. The boys (18th team) and girls (13th team) performed well, but failed to advance to the team sections.

On the girls’ side, rookie Katherine Romero (21:42) was 25th overall, but seventh in individual and will qualify for the race in the sections. In addition, junior Megan Fahey broke her personal best by finishing in 55th place in 23:33. They were followed by sophomore teammates Laura Thompson in 24:31, junior Ryan Walker in 26:35, senior Mariana Peralta setting a personal best in 26:44 and Gorette Coelho in 28:12.

“There’s something fun about knowing all the nuances of how these athletes are coming up at this time. It’s easy to check the times online and think, “Oh, that runner had a good day” or “Maybe that wasn’t the best. But as a coach you know. You know the injuries, the colds, the distractions, the struggles, the growth, the progress, ”Bower noted. “We don’t make sure we get the best every time we step onto the course, but when you have athletes who overcome their personal challenges and are able to celebrate success, no matter how small it is. moment that I look forward to. to be excited.

The college boys were led by the same trio: second student Andrew Morales (6:52 p.m., 58th overall), junior Joshua Churchill (8:09 p.m.) and senior Ben Millard (8:25 p.m.). Those three were followed by a strong run from junior Cadon Crumbley (22:15) and a huge personal best from junior Nikolai Lorenzo (23:07).

Finally, the junior interuniversity races saw a handful of final athletes with senior Jillian Junquiero (27:42) finishing 13th overall and ninth individual to qualify for the sections.

“Jill was part of a frosh / soph girls team that qualified for the sections during the 2018 season, but at the last minute couldn’t run when the section had to condense the race schedule into because of the poor air quality. Not quite the right plays next season, and obviously last season was very different with no playoffs for anyone, “Bower said.” All that to say there is something very fitting for her to end her cross country season in high school by going back to the sections. It’s another ‘story among history’.

A total of 19 runners (three teams and two individuals) qualified for the section race to be held at Folsom High School on Saturday, November 13.

“For my first year as a head coach, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to train on. They had good attitudes, brought fun, showed growth and improvement. The feedback helped guide the new riders. And the new ones were receptive to learning, ”Bower said. “At the end of the day, one of our T-shirt quotes says it best, ‘We never lose. Either we win or we learn ”.

On Saturday the first year boys’ team, the second year boys team, the frosh / soph girls and two individual girls will compete.

All Section Qualifications: Freshman Boys – Nate Millard, Daniel Bagadiong, Angel Romero, Jake Sawyer, Calan Crumbley, Xilen Yangose. Grade 2 boys – Marcos Grajeda, Jose Calderon, Julian Gonzalez, Jacob Beneux and Joseph Corrales. Frosh / Soph Girls – Victoria Rich, Hannah Wampler, Kalie Castellanos, Emma Berchtold, Destiny Reyes, Kaleai Jones. Varsity Girl – Katherine Romero and JV Girl – Jillian Junquiero.


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