10/28/2017 – Sectionals

Class A Sectional (Benton) – 10/28/2017






10/28/2017 – Sectionals (Benton)

The Foxes didn’t have to be up early this year, they only had to be up and ready to leave by 8:00. This was much better than the previous years of being up and gone by 6:45. Last years weather was too warm but this year the weather was just a little bit too cool. With cold weather always comes the want to pack on extra layers of clothes but that usually results in athletes running sub-par times and have cost alumni of the Foxes over the years chances to run at state and a few other issues. It was recommended that in the 40 degree weather that Under Armour compression long sleeve shirts or tights not be worn. The Foxes all ran fine with only a few of the athletes complaining about having issues due to that. The boys hands were hurting due to the cold and next year it will be recommended that they wear gloves to start with if conditions are the same.

The Lady Foxes would be the first to take to the Benton Course which has become our second home over the past few weeks (3 meets). As the race was getting ready to start, the runners were hoping that the sun would come out for a few minutes and heat up just a little bit. The teams were required to be to the starting line 20 minutes before the race started. As they were waiting to start the race it was apparent that everyone was cold, many of the girls from all of the teams were jumping up and down trying to stay warm. Benton’s Mia McLain took off and ran hard putting herself within an elbow of the second place girl. Good luck to Mia at the state meet next week. At the start of the race the Foxes took off fast and were looking competitive from the start. Jasmine Coomes quickly made her way to the front of the Foxes and settled in around 40th place in the 150 runners. Jasmine continued to work hard and despite her health issues over the past week she ended up with a time of 20:29.1 in 45th place. Raegan Halley once again had issues with her puking which typically signals that she will not have a good race, but luckily whenever Raegan doesn’t have a good race, it’s still a good race compared to most people. Olivia Ragan was able to move up into the second spot on the Foxes and finished for her first time under 20:56 in 60th place. Raegan Halley continued to work through her puking and finished with a time of 21:35 in 75th place overall. Kaylee Chapman stuck in 4th place for the Foxes with a 78th place finish with a time of 21:47. Kaylee has worked extremely hard and put in another quality performance. Between the girls number one and number four runner was only a time of 1:18, which is extremely close. Kylee Vaughan continued to improve her times after her month away from practice and finished in the Foxes fifth place with a time of 23:11 for the 100th spot. Abby Reyling finished not too far behind her and Leah Ragan was close to Abby. The Foxes unfortunately didn’t have anyone from the girls advance to the State Meet in Peoria, but I have a feeling we will continue to see the Lady Foxes making improvements over the next couple seasons.

Coming into the Sectionals the Foxes knew that they were one of five or six teams that had a potential shot at the fifth spot at the meet, which was the last advancing spot for state. It was pretty much a given that Freeburg, Pinckneyville, Benton and Breese Mater Dei were going to be in the top four spots, but it was up in the air for the fifth spot, the Foxes, Nashville, Steeleville, Columbia, Red Bud and Trenton (Wesclin) were all contenders for the spot. The Foxes took off and Hunter Braden led the Foxes into the short Benton Cross Country course (2.74 to 2.8 miles). The Foxes order for the half mile mark was Theron, Hunter, Kaden, Hunt, Rubenacker, Wellen and Meade. At the mile and 1/2 mark it was evident that the Foxes were going to have to turn it up to be in contention of the 5th place team, many of the teams had their third runner pass through before the Foxes first runner. The Foxes have a great team but are lacking a true front runner who can place in the top ten in a large race like this, fortunately though, the Foxes have 5 runners who are usually within 50 seconds of each other and they might be able to turn one or two of them into front runners before next season maybe even four or five of them.  The Foxes ended up finishing the race in the following order, Kaden Richards (16:20 – 37th place), Hunter Braden (16:25 – 42nd), Theron Smith (16:26 – 43rd), and Logan Hunt (16:31 – 51st). The Foxes spread between one and four was a mere 10.8 seconds which is extremely tight. The fifth place spot was brought in by first year running sophomore Adam Wellen (16:52 – 61st place), Adam has been working hard all season and has constantly been in the top seven on the Foxes but today was able to crack into the top 5. Senior Matt Rubenacker finished just a half of a second behind Adam in the 62nd place. Colin Mead was the final Fox runner with a very good time of 17:08 (20 seconds faster than the previous weeks time on the same course. The Foxes have had a whole lot of ups and downs throughout the season and undoubtedly not having their early season leader of Trenton Butler ended up hurting the Foxes but in the long run hopefully will help, with other runners being able to get some much needed experience in some big meets. The Foxes will definitely miss all of their seniors, but the future is looking good with only 47 seconds separating the top seven runners for the Foxes! Unfortunately the Foxes did not qualify anyone for the State Meet, but they are definitely looking forward to a great season next year.

I need to have a couple people really commit to making running a lifestyle and working on being a front runner for the Foxes boys and girls. We definitely have the talent available but just need to hone the skills to be competitive in the state level. I’m constantly working on improving my skills as a coach and a motivator and hope to be able to lead both teams to a more successful season next year.

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 five seniors, and the Lady Foxes will be losing two seniors to graduation. The team will hopefully return the other 23 runners and also add a few other quality runners as incoming freshman or first time sophomore, junior or senior runners.

Boys Team Results

  1. Freeburg                                               92
  2. Pinckneyville                                      127
  3. Columbia                                             129
  4. Benton                                                 138
  5. Breese (Mater Dei)                            149
  6. Steeleville                                            151
  7. Nashville                                             161
  8. Trenton (Wesclin)                             185
  9. Hamilton County                              234
  10. Vienna                                                 296
  11. Red Bud                                              301
  12. Waterloo (Gibault Catholic)           301
  13. Carterville                                           324
  14. DuQuoin                                             337
  15. Fairfield                                              350
  16. Okawville                                            435
  17. Crab Orchard                                     458
  18. New Athens                                        479
  19. West Frankfort                                  525
  20. Mt. Carmel                                         557

Girls Team Results

  1. Nashville                                              95
  2. Freeburg                                             102
  3. Breese (Mater Dei)                           109
  4. Pinckneyville                                     139
  5. DuQuoin                                             166
  6. New Athens                                        170
  7. Okawville                                            218
  8. Carterville                                           244
  9. Belleville (Althoff-Catholic)            260
  10. Salem                                                   265
  11. Chester                                                321
  12. Carmi                                                   344
  13. Massac County                                   346
  14. Hamilton County                               360
  15. Breese (Central)                                 388
  16. Mt. Carmel                                          407
  17. West Frankfort                                   423
  18. Marissa                                                428
  19. Harrisburg                                          476
  20. Fairfield                                               477
  21. Galatia                                                  623