The Foxes hot off of their sweep of the Black Diamond Conference headed into Benton knowing it was going to be a tough meet. The Invitational would be similar to what will see in the Regional, as far as team competition goes, and similar to secti0nals as far as number of participants goes.
The Boys JV Race was up first and the Foxes had one participant in the race, Clayton Cross. Clayton took off to run the race and to try to run a time fast enough to move him into the top 7 of the Foxes before Regionals and Sectionals. Clayton took off and ran the first mile of the race in 6 minutes and 30 seconds. He took off and gave his all to get into position t0 run a fast race. Clayton worked and kept at it but ultimately ended up running out of gas. He still finished with a good time, 22:04, but most of all he showed a lot of guts giving all the effort he did in the race. I am looking forward to having Clayton on the team next year and he better stay prepared in case the Foxes need him in the post season.
The second race of the day was the Varsity Boy’s race, the boys coming into the race knew that their main competition would be Nashville, Herrin and Benton. The Foxes took off fast and quickly made it up the first large hill at the Benton Park. Tyler quickly moved up into the top ten and worked on catching as many of the runners as possible. He moved all the way up to the 5th spot, finishing just behind Nashville’s #1 runner. The rest of the Fox team worked up towards the front of the pack as well with Clay Ragan putting in another superb performance finishing in 19th place. Matt Rubenacker finished in 26th place with Chad Barnard 35th and Logan Hunt finishing in 37th, giving the Foxes a team score of 122. The 122 points the Foxes scored were low enough to give the Foxes a 3rd place finish behind 1st place Nashville and only 3 points behind 2nd place Herrin. The Foxes narrowly defeated the Benton Rangers team by one point.
The Final race for the Foxes on the day was the varsity women’s race. Leslie Drone looked very determined rushing up the steep starting hill. She knew that her competition would be pretty fierce with Herrin and Carterville’s girls to compete with. Leslie stayed persistent and stayed within short distance of the leaders to finish in 6th place overall. Jasmine Coomes and Raegan Halley also ran valiant races and both finished in the top 40 out of 112 to receive medals. Kaylee Chapman suffered a mid race injure of a rolled ankle and still ran until she got to the 2 mile mark where do to her pain, I pulled her out of the race. It is definitely better to take precautions and have her back healthy for the regional rather than taking a chance a losing her for the rest of the season. Kaylee always does the best of her ability, so it was easy to trust she was being truthful about her injury. In Kaylee’s absence Schuyler, Leah and Jayda all ran great races. The girls finished in 9th place out of 22 teams. Most of the teams will be in the Harrisburg regional and the Lady Foxes are looking at competing for one of the top spots at the regional on this coming Saturday.
Both teams have been performing well and I could not be more proud of them. The next meet for the Foxes and Lady Foxes will be on Saturday at Southeastern College in Harrisburg IL. We hope you will have a chance to come out and support our teams!
Full results are on the webpage http://hamcocc.com/2015-season/101915-benton-invite/