|GIRL’S TEAM RESULTS|
|2||BREESE (MATER DEI)||81|
|BOY’S TEAM RESULTS|
|6||BREESE (MATER DEI)||183|
10/31/2015 – Sectionals Narrative
Trick or Treat, the Foxes were hoping to be the recipients of a treat not a trick. The Foxes had to get up early and be ready to leave by 6:30 a.m. It was going to be another tough meet, but both teams knew what needed to be done to have a chance to advance. After a slight malfunction of the security system of the small bus, we were ready to race.
The Lady Foxes would be the first to take to the SIU–Edwardsville Collegiate women’s 5k Cross Country course. As the race was getting ready to start the rain started picking up. The teams were required to be to the starting line at 15 minutes before the race started. As they were waiting to start the race it was apparent that everyone was nervous, even Leslie Drone, who is usually calm and confident. This season had been a real test for Leslie and she had put in a ton of work trying to get ready to make a run at advancing to state. As the race started the rain started to come down harder. The start of the sectional race is exactly the same as it is during the state cross country race. The starter who stands behind the start line, gives an audible whistle and then fires the gun whenever everyone is set. Leslie Drone took off and ran her first mile a lot slower than she usually does. I was worried that maybe she wasn’t going to have a good race, but I also thought that hey it’s Leslie Drone, she will surprise you. At the 3/4 Mile mark, Leslie Drone was in about 18th place. She was followed shortly behind by Jasmine Coomes, Jasmine had fell down and got muddy at the first turn, but she popped up and rebounded quickly. Jasmine was followed closely by Raegan Halley, Kaylee Chapman and Schuyler Bailey. At the 2 1/4 mile mark the race was getting heated and it was apparent that Leslie would make it to state if she could keep her pace. Drone not only kept her pace, but she ran an amazing last 3/4 miles of the race passing 5 or more girls and finishing in 7th place overall, this guaranteed that she would be heading to state. Last year Leslie finished 6th place at the sectional meet. Jasmine Coomes finished the race 43rd overall. Jasmine had an amazing season and shows a lot of inspiration for the upcoming years when we will be without Leslie Drone. Raegan Halley finished 57th, as a freshman Raegan had an amazing season and will be a top runner in the state in the upcoming years if she can keep healthy and train hard for the upcoming seasons. Kaylee Chapman came through as the 4th Fox runner with a great kick. Kaylee ended the season with a few injuries, but she never gave up. Kaylee works very hard and I actually had to keep her from running to try to recover from her injuries during the last few weeks. Kaylee works hard and has a great drive to succeed. Schuyler Bailey finished her senior year of running with a great race, we will miss Schuyler in the future years and hope she will come back to run with the team some next year. Freshman Leah Ragan and Jayda Johnson both had a great year and continually improved throughout the season, only time will tell how great they will be. Leah unfortunately fell down at the finish line but she is okay. The Lady Foxes finished in 13th place out of 21 teams who competed in the Sectionals. I was so happy we had enough for a full team at regionals and sectionals.
The Boys toed the line next with a ten minute delay due to a timing related issue. The ten minute delay did not set well with Tyler. He is a runner who loves to have things on schedule and warms up accordingly to how much time he has before the race, anything interrupting this flow doesn’t set well with him. Tyler seen the success Leslie had and he didn’t want her to be the lone Fox to make it to state in Peoria again this year. The Foxes were hoping to have an outside shot of advancing to state as a team as well. The ten minute delay served the Foxes and all other runners well because it gave the rain a chance to stop. The Foxes quickly settled into position with the order of Tyler, Matt, Logan, Clay, Chad, Trenton and then Alex at the 3/4 mile mark. At this point Tyler was in 18th or 20th place. Tyler usually starts off slower and eats away at the competition throughout the next 3 miles. At the 1.25 mile mark the order hadn’t changed much, but it was easy to tell that Chad was not having a good race at that point. I encouraged Trenton and Alex that we really needed them to come through with a good race to compensate for this. Chad has been a consistent runner throughout his high school running career and this was one of the few years he had been inconsistent. Chad had been plagued with side stitches at 3 or 4 meet this year. The Foxes at the 2 1/4 mile mark had changed up their order a little bit, Tyler was in 13th place overall, he knew the top 10 automatically go to state and he wanted to be in that top 10. Behind Tyler was Clay, Logan, Matt, Trenton, Chad, and Alex in that order. Alex at the 2 1/2 mile mark jogged over to me worried and mad because he lost his timing chip, I told him to finish strong and tell the judges at the finish line, later I would find out that he was so mad when he noticed it was missing that he walked for at least one minute or more. Coming up the final stretch Tyler was in 11th place and was working hard to break the top 10, unfortunately the runner in 10th place was able to out kick him and ended up beating Tyler by a couple of seconds. Fortunately though, Tyler would advance as one of the top 7 individuals not on a qualifying team. A little way behind Tyler was Logan Hunt, Logan finished the race strong and was 58th overall with a sub 19 minute 5k. Logan had an amazing first season of cross country. Behind Logan was Matt Rubenacker 18:58 and Clay Ragan 19:18. Clay ended up with a side stitch, but he pushed through the pain and still finished in a respectful finishing time. Trenton Butler was the Foxes 5th runner and finished the race with a strong kick. Chad finished sixth on the team with Alex Soltanipanah right behind him. The Foxes finished in 10th place out of 21 teams, this was huge improvement from last years 19th place finish.
As I look back at the season from a team perspective, I have to say I am extremely hopefully for the future of Foxes Cross Country. The Boy’s team will be losing three seniors, but will be returning 5 sophomores and 1 Junior and will hopefully pick up a few freshmen and maybe a few other athletes. 5 of the Varsity Foxes runners will be returning and if they will work and put miles in over the summer they will be tough to beat. The Lady’s team will be losing two seniors, but will be returning 3 sophomores and 3 Freshmen. These have been some of the most tight nit teams I’ve had a chance to coach.
Leslie Drone and Tyler Byars will be running at Detweiller Park in Peoria at the State Cross Country meet on Saturday. Leslie will run at 9:00 a.m. and Tyler will run at 10:00 a.m. Leslie has made it to state in three of her four years, finishing last year with a 14th place finish overall. This is this first time Tyler has made it to state out of his 3 years of running. This is a huge accomplishment by both of them and I hope they run their best race possible.