8/27/2016 – MELHS Invitational





NARRATIVE – 8/27/2016

Foxes Cross Country teams competed at Edwardsville today in the MELHS Invitational. The weather was hot and humid. At 9:00 in the morning it was about 80 degrees out and was about 85% Humidity. A lot of the athletes were having difficulty breathing and also difficulty staying cool. The Girls race was the first race starting at 9:30 for the Foxes.

Coming into the Girls Race, a couple of the Foxes runners were nursing minor injuries with a few who were planning on just going out and jogging the course. As the race started the Foxes Raegan Halley got out in a good start and continued to work her way up through the pack. At the one mile mark all of the Lady Foxes runners were still going strong, but a few of them looked like they were feeling the greatest. Lady Fox Kaylee Chapman ended up having to pull out of the race due to her inability to breath due to allergies and the race conditions. Jayda Johnson also re-aggravated an ankle injury causing her to be unable to continue on in the race as well. As the race came down to the last 3/4 mile it was pretty easy to tell that at least two foxes would be receiving medals, the top 100 finishers received medals. Raegan Halley was still leading the Foxes at this time, but by the end of the race Freshman Olivia Ragan had edged her out for the top spot on the Lady Foxes finishing in 65th place Overall (56th out of individuals on a team) with a time of 24:35. Sophomore Raegan Halley finished shortly behind her with a time of 24:54. Rounding out the Lady Foxes performances were Jasmine Coomes, Jade Lemmons, Abby Reyling and Leah Ragan. The girls finished 19th out of 28 teams with 48 schools represented by the 323 finishers. The Lady Foxes have a lot to look forward to this season and are an extremely young team, but they will need to get over the injuries, lack of foundation building over the summer and other small issues if they want to make it deep into the post season.

The Boys Race started at 10:15 a.m. and of course the weather was heating up. The Foxes started 12 runners in the crowd of well over 400 starters. Quite a few of the Foxes got a good start and continued to move up over the course of the first mile and at that point the Foxes were clumping together with the top 4 Foxes within 30 seconds of each other. Similar to the girls race, some of the boys were fighting breathing issues as well, but this was not just something that our teams struggled with and many of the teams had people drop out of the race. Senior Alex Soltanipanah also had breathing issues but continued to push through the pain and managed to finish the race sixth on our team. As the race was coming down towards the end Hunter Braden was far and beyond the #1 Fox Runner of the day and ended up finishing with a time of 19:16 finishing in 39th place. This is Hunter’s first year of running and he has so far show a lot of potential. Closely behind Hunter were Juniors Clay Ragan, Matt Rubenacker and Logan Hunt all who finished in the top 60 and all receiving a medal. The Foxes top seven were rounded out in order by Trenton Butler, Alex Soltanipanah and Evan Shelton. The Foxes also had 5 extra runners running in the race which all have a chance to crack the top seven during the season. The five runners were in order of finish; Raegan Irwin, Colin Meade, Clayton Cross, Dylan Halley and Will Jones. The boys placed 8th out of 34 teams with 47 Schools represented by the 382 finishers. The Foxes runners have a lot of talent and with a lot of hard work and determination they will have a chance to do well in the conference and also go deep into the post season.

The athletes weren’t the only people who were having heat issues during the day, cross country courses are spanned out over a great distance and for parents and coaches to cheer them on sometimes they have to run quite a  bit themselves. I had many reports of parents who realized that the next time they were going to be coming to a race as hot and humid as this, they were going to bring an extra change of clothing as well. I was soaked to the bone and felt like I had ran my own race.

The Foxes and Lady Foxes came away with 6 medals, 2 for the girls and 4 for the boys. Medalist for the Foxes included Hunter Braden, Clay Ragan, Matt Rubenacker, Logan Hunt Olivia Ragan and Raegan Halley. The Foxes next race will be at 3:30 p.m. on 9/3/2016 at Norris City High School in Norris City Illinois, it  is a short drive and all of the runners run at the same time, so take the time and come support your Foxes Runners.