On a “Freezing” morning in the beginning of October, the Hamilton County Foxes teams meandered into the high school parking lot, the morning after Homecoming where Leslie Drone was crowned queen. The Foxes were then headed to John A. Logan for the Carterville Invitational. Both teams knew there would be stiff (no pun intended) competition and the race would closely mimic the Regional coming up in a few weeks at Southeastern College in Harrisburg. Unfortunately the Foxes were down three member, two girls and one boy that could have been beneficially to the team on this day.
The teams arrived and set up the Foxes tent and repeatedly complained about the “cold” 51 degree weather. The boy’s team was the first team to run at 10:00 a.m. As they were about to start the race it began to lightly rain on everyone. The rain picked up and was constant for about 5 to 10 minutes. The Foxes runners took off a lot faster this race and moved into position early. Tyler Byars continually moved his way up until he was in 4th place shortly after the mile mark. By the end of the race Byars pulled into 3rd place edging out Hartley from Benton, who had beat him at Olney. Tyler has really worked hard and put in a lot of speed training to help his finishing kick, which in this case definitely helped. Shortly after Tyler finished, the speedy racer Clay Ragan came through in 17:49 finishing in 19th place. Matt Rubenacker 22nd and Logan Hunt 24th followed Ragan closely. Chad Barnard our usual top 5 runner had a horrible stomach ache (side stitch) which allowed Trenton Butler to bust into the top 5 with a time of 19:02. Following Butler was Alex Soltanipanah, Chad Barnard and Clayton Cross. Clayton really stepped up his running today and is quickly approaching the top 5. The Boys finished 4th place out of 10 tough teams. They are going to have to steadily improve if they want a chance to beat Benton and or Herrin at the Regional on October the 24th.
The girls cross country team took off at 10:30 and Leslie Drone quickly pulled into the top 3. Leslie who won homecoming queen last night, she has been struggling with some calve issues and also some breathing problems, but she never quits. She worked hard today and turned in a 1st place on the team finish and 7th place finish overall in the meet. Leslie works hard at everything she does and pushes herself extremely hard in running, I sure hope we can get these issues worked out before the end of the season. Shortly behind Drone with a standout performance today was Jasmine Coomes. Jasmine ran 21:29 for the course and placed 8th overall. Raegan Halley 10th finished shortly behind Coomes making the top 3 runners very close for the Foxes. Kaylee Chapman ran a great race at John A. and improved her time by a lot, she finished in 33rd place with a time of 24:56. Leah Ragan also ran well and turned in a time of 27:26. The girls finished 4th place out of ten teams. The girls are looking forward to the Hamilton County Invitational and the Black Diamond Conference coming up in two weeks, both at Dolan Lake.
The Foxes next race is Wednesday at Southeastern College in Harrisburg. Details pertaining to the race can be found on hamcocc.com.