Black Diamond Conference (Chester) – 10/13/2016
10/13/2016 – Black Diamond Conference
CHESTER!, not exactly how our team wanted to spend the day of the Black Diamond Conference. The Foxes left for Chester at 1:20 p.m., fresh off of great races at the McLeansboro Invitational, ready to race well in the conference meet. The Lady Foxes were to run at 4:30 p.m. and the boys at 5:15 p.m.
The Lady Foxes were up first and once again the top five were all “healthy” and ready to run. Raegan Halley and Jasmine Coomes both knew they would have to have great races to have a chance to break into the All-Conference team. The All-Conference team consists of the top 5 finishers in both the male and female races. Raegan took off fast and held onto the 7th place for the first couple of miles of the race, but was constantly making strides to catch up to the racers slightly ahead of her. By the end of the race Raegan caught up and took the 5th spot (all-conference) with a time of 22:05. Finishing in 5 was a huge accomplishment especially since Raegan fell just short of accomplishing this at last years race. Jasmine Coomes also ran a season best with a time of 22:46 finishing in 7th place, Jasmine continues to get better every race. A pack of three Lady Foxes (Olivia Ragan, Kaylee Chapman and Jade Lemmons) came through next with only 14 seconds separating them. Jayda Johnson and Abby Reyling finished with very good times on what according to the runners was a very tough course. The girls finished with a third place finish just shortly behind the Chester and Carmi. The Lady Foxes are really starting to come together as the season comes to its conclusion.
The boys were up next and the goal of the day was to try and put as many Foxes in the All-Conference ranks as possible. At the 1.5 mile mark Hunter Braden was in first place with a Fairfield runner right behind him and Logan, Matt and Alex right behind them. The Foxes would try to keep pace and end with each runner having a great race. When the race concluded Fairfield turned in a 1st place finish with McLeansboro taking the next four places with Hunter Braden (3rd), Matt Rubenacker (4th), Clay Ragan (5th) and Logan Hunt (6th). Finishing shortly behind that were Alex Soltanipanah (9th) and Trenton Butler (12th). Evan Shelton finished right at 20:00 minutes in 21st place to round out the Foxes team. The Foxes top 5 were separated by only 59 seconds from 1st to 5th place. They ended up winning the Black Diamond Conference with a team score of 23. This was the Foxes 8th win this far for the season.
The Foxes next race will be on Monday at the Benton Invitational on Monday at the Benton Park starting at 4:30 p..m. The Benton Invitational is a huge race with lots of good competition. I’m looking forward to seeing how they will run against a lot of good competition. Post season also starts next week.
Multiple days of prep on a three mile course equates to a lot of miles, about 20 to be exact, but they were all worth it to see our teams run in front of the home crowd. A course with so much wooded area makes it tough to keep the course clear of branches and other obstructions. Three runners came out and helped clean up the course on their holiday; Hunter Braden, Logan Hunt and Matt Rubenacker. Every little bit of help is immensely appreciated. Nicholas and Don Burke put up a large tent with the help of Trenton Butler. We also had help prepping the course from the Mike Lewis and his crew. Jackie Halley and the parents set up and operated a concession stand and did an amazing job. The River to River Runners Club came and timed the three races. Many of the faculty and administrators as well as tons parents and grandparents, etc. all came out to cheer on the Foxes. The weather was amazing and the attendance was about 150 runners. All in all it was shaping up to be an amazing day for a race! The JV boys were up first, varsity girls second and varsity boys third.
The JV race started at 4:00 p.m. with the Foxes entering 6 boys in the race including Varsity running freshman Evan “Evie Lil’ Fox” Shelton. Evan took off and quickly moved into one of the top spots in the race. Evan came through the mile mark at just under 6 minutes. Following closely behind Evan were first year running sophomores Raegan Irwin and Colin Meade. In the past few races they have been within seconds of Evan. This race Evan took off and continued to keep a quick pace finishing third overall and was the 6th fastest Fox out of all the Foxes runners on the day with a time of 18:48.3. Raegan Irwin finished in the 7th spot in the JV race and Colin was 9th. Also competing for the JV Foxes were Clancy Bond (20th), Dylan Halley (23rd) and Will Jones (24th). The JV Foxes ended up winning the race with a score of 62.
The girls were up next with nine runners competing the race. The Lady Foxes knew that they would have tough competition from the Carmi and Nashville teams. Leading the Foxes out of the gate was Sophomore Raegan Halley. Nashville stacked big though putting 4 girls in the top five. Raegan ended up finishing the race in 7th place with a time of 21:18.7. Shortly behind Halley was Jasmine Coomes who finished with a season best, time of 22:38.9. Coming in 19th place was Olivia Ragan with a time of 24:03.6 and right behind Olivia was Kaylee Chapman in 20th place with a time of 24:08. Rounding out the top 5 was Jade Lemmons with a time of 26:24.2. The top 5 Lady Foxes have really been starting to get things together and have so far kept the injuries to a minimum. The final Lady Foxes runners were in order Jayda Johnson (37th), Leah Ragan (41st), Abby Reyling (>7) and Mary Lee (>7). The Lady Foxes ran well enough to take second place in the race behind Nashville. The Lady Foxes are looking forward to competing at Chester in the Black Diamond Conference.
The final race of the day was the Varsity Boys race and it was looking to be a tough race with great competition between the Foxes and Nashville. At the mile mark it was evident the race was definitely going to be close. The Foxes were in First with Hunter Braden leading way, but closely followed by three Nashville runners who were closely followed by three Foxes runners. The boys came through the mile mark at about five minutes and thirty seconds. Brandon Schnitker was holding back a little bit to help bring the rest of his team up. At the two mile mark the scene was pretty much the same, and still a close race. Needless to say I was excited to get to the finish of the race and see who was going to be coming through in the lead. As I made it to the finish line it was evident that Brandon Schnitker decided to take off and that he did finishing in 16:24, but the question was who was the upcoming runners going to be. Nashville put another runner under 17 minutes but then the Foxes took the following places Logan Hunt (3rd), Hunter Braden (4th) and Matt Rubenacker in 5th. Nashville then put two more runners in the 6th and 7th places with Clay Ragan of the Foxes taking 8th place. So with four people from each team having finished the score was Nashville 16 and Foxes 20, low score wins. It was going to be up to the 5th place runner to see who would win. Alex Soltanipanah finished 5th on the Foxes in 11th place overall to give the Foxes a team score of 31. Nashville’s fifth runner finished in 20th place which gave the Foxes the win over Nashville with a score of 31 to 36. This was the first year in a while that the Foxes took home the Hamilton County Invitational Title. All in all it was a great day with 1st place finishes by the Boys Varsity and Boys Junior Varsity and Second place in the girls.
The Foxes next race will be at Chester for the Black Diamond Conference Championship on Thursday. The Girls race at 4:30 p.m. and the Boys run at 5:00 p.m.