West Frankfort Invitational (West Frankfort Park) – 9/13/2016
NARRATIVE – 9/13/2016
Foxes Cross Country teams competed at the West Frankfort Park today in the West Frankfort Invitational. The West Frankfort Invitational was originally scheduled for Thursday September the 8th, but due to the rainy weather it was postponed. The weather on this day was definitely not rainy, which of course meant that it was hot and humid. The Foxes ended up with a 1st place finish by the boys and a 2nd place finish by the girls.
The Foxes traveled to the West Frankfort Course for the first time this year. The next time that the Foxes travel to West Frankfort will be for the Regionals. The course for this year was the same modified course as what it was last year at West Frankfort. When we arrived to the course it was explained to us that we would be only running two races (Boys Varsity and Girls Varsity) instead of three race (the 2 before mentioned races and the Open). This was a welcome change especially since we were allowed to run all our runners in the two races.
The girls were up first, and with lots of injuries I was uncertain about how the race would end up going. Before the meet started Sophomore Raegan Halley informed me she didn’t plan on running the race. Raegan had recently been to the doctor to check on her foot to see if she had a stress fracture. Thankfully she did not have a stress fracture but rather a bone bruise on top of her foot. With Raegan not wanting to run I knew we were going to have a tough meet ahead of us, but thankfully just before the race started, she decided to run. Raegan started off in a flash and came through the one mile mark in about 5th place. She stayed strong and ended up finishing the course in 22:41 in 5th place. Olivia Ragan finished the race in second place on the team with a 11th place finish, Jasmine Coomes finished 3rd on the team with a 13th place finish and Kaylee Chapman finished 4th on the team with a 18th place finish. These four young women finished in the top 20 and each received a t-shirt for their accomplishments. Kaylee Chapman had a superb performance especially considering she has had a ton of breathing and sinus issues and was diagnosed with Asthma. It makes a coach extremely proud when someone who is having a rough time ends up turning in a great performance that is unexpected for the day. Fifth on the team for the Foxes was Jade Lemmons, sixth was Leah Ragan, seventh was Jayda Johnson and eighth was Abby Reyling. The Foxes girls will definitely be a force to reckon with when they get everyone healthy.
The boys were up next starting at 5:00 p.m.. The boys were coming into the WF Invite looking to test their strength as a team against Nashville and Herrin, but unfortunately due to the rescheduling of the meet those teams did not show up. The boys were still out to see what they were made of in the first meet of a week of three meets. The boys started off fast and quickly got to the front of the pack. Hunter Braden again rose to the top of the pack and his only fear was not knowing the course. As Hunter made his way through the course there were a few points where he was unsure of the course and this undoubtedly cost him quite a few seconds, but he still ended up with a 17:16 for a 1st place for the Foxes and the meet. Shortly behind Hunter was Matt Rubenacker and Logan Hunt who both have been running very consist finishing in 2nd and 3rd overall. Alex Soltanipanah had a break out meet finishing just seconds behind Logan Hunt in 4th place overall. Clay Ragan who was having shin issues before the race rounded out the Foxes top 5 with a 12th place finish. Trenton Butler and Evan Shelton also finished in under 19:30 in the top 20 place to receive a shirt. Junior Clayton Cross was slightly behind Shelton. Clayton Cross is working hard to try and get in the top 7 on the Varsity team. The rest of the Foxes team also made significant improvement today. The Foxes will continue their quest for the perfect team score on Thursday at the Norris City Invitational. For full details on the Norris City race click here.