10/09/2018 – Hamilton County Invitational

Hamilton County Invitational (Dolan Lake) – 10/09/2018




Pictures are on Facebook

Hamilton County Invitational

Multiple days of prep on a three mile course equates to a lot of miles, but they were all worth it to see our teams run in front of the home crowd.  A course with so much wooded area makes it tough to keep the course clear of branches and other obstructions. Two days before the race a large limb fell over the Chapel Trail, which had to be removed before the race. It is also hard to count on Mother Nature especially on the day of the Hamilton County Invitational. In the five years that I have been the head coach, we have had rain on the day of the race twice and had rain for three days before one race causing us to have to cancel it. This year we had an almost perfect day and the weather was fantastic, with a nice breeze. We also had help prepping the course from the Mike Lewis and his crew. Jackie Halley and the parents set up and operated a concession stand and did an amazing job. Lynn Braden, in the midst of coaching the State Champion Class L Jr. High Softball team, had posters of our seniors made. The River to River Runners Club came and timed the three races.  Olivia Soltanipanah did the scoring with the assistance on my son Ethynn. Sarah Reyling and Ann-Marie Harland took pictures of the races, showcasing the amazing trails of Dolan Lake. Tons of people came out cheer on the Foxes. Parents and athletes helped pick up the course after the races. The kids performed at their finest and Hunter Braden cannon-balled into the pond. Evan Shelton and Ben Irvin both took falls during the race but popped back up and got back after it. Everything went well on the day and even though the start line was moved back just slightly times were extremely fast. Five of the six seniors for the Foxes would be in competition today. The Foxes seniors are Raegan Halley, Leah Ragan, Hunter Braden, Colin Meade, Raegan Irwin and Jack Aydt. The JV boys were up first, varsity girls second and varsity boys third.

The JV race started at 4:00 p.m. with the Foxes entering six boys in the race including Varsity running sophomore Trace Butler.  Trace took off and quickly moved into one of the top spots in the race. He came through the mile mark at around 6:04.  Following closely behind Trace were Sophomore Keegan Johnson, and Freshmen Brady Thrane and Aaron Meade. Trace ended up taking second in the race with a time of 19:29. The Foxes JV runners took 2nd (Trace), 4th (Brady), 6th (Keegan), 7th (Aaron) 11th (Ben) and 21st (Ian). Ben Irwin would have finished up a couple places further but he took a fall in the trails. The great thing about the trails at Dolan Lake are the beauty and shade they provide but the bad thing is the roots and the sticks they leave behind. All of the teams (except maybe ours), tell me it is one of their favorite course to run. The JV team finished with a score of 28 points. The JV Foxes took the win over Galatia, Thompsonville and Eldorado. The young Foxes did a great job and by winning the race set the scene and expectations for the rest of the days races.

The Lady Foxes were up next with 10 runners competing the race.  The Lady Foxes knew that they would have tough competition from the Carmi team. Leading the Foxes (and the race) out of the gate was Freshman phenom Maddie Karcher who ended up finishing 1st overall, with a time of 19:47. Not too far behind Maddie were fellow freshmen Caroline Lueke (4th) and Ashlee Wellen (6th). The trio of Freshmen have vastly improved over the course of the year and part of their success has come from having veteran leaders of Raegan Halley and Olivia Ragan. Raegan Halley finished closely behind in 9th place, with Olivia Ragan (12th) and Jocelyn Moles (18th) slightly behind her. Maddi Jo Maxwell and Abby Reyling were battling it out to see who would be the Foxes seventh place runner on the day and would be the Varsity runner for the Black Diamond Conference on Thursday. The race was pretty tight and at the one mile mark it was neck to neck. As the race progressed Maddi Jo pulled away from Abby with Maddi Jo in the 38th spot overall and Abby in the 39th spot. The other Lady Foxes competing in the race were Jennifer Redmon (54th) and Ava Davenport (55th). Leah Ragan and Sectional Golf Champion Kylee Vaughan were not able to run, but did help time and keep score for the Foxes. Laban Hunt also assisted in keep times and scores. The Lady Foxes have really been starting to get things together and have so far kept the injuries to a minimum. The Lady Foxes finished with a score of 26 points. The Lady Foxes ran well enough to take first place in the race finishing ahead of Carmi, Goreville, West Frankfort, Harrisburg and Galatia. The Lady Foxes are looking forward to competing at Goreville in the Black Diamond Conference on Thursday.

The final race of the day was the Varsity Boys race. The boys entered 12 runners in the Varsity race. The race was led throughout by Ty Barbre of Carmi, but a missed turn at the end of the race landed him in the 5th place spot on the day. Hunter Braden therefore took the 1st place spot on the day with a great time of 17:33. Shortly behind Hunter was Kaden Richards who finished in the 4th place spot with a time of 17:46. Theron Smith (8th) and Evan Shelton (12th) finished in the top fifteen and received trophies for their efforts. On the day the Foxes took home a total of 13 trophies for individuals and 3 team trophies. The rest of the Varsity Foxes runners in order were Adam Wellen (19th), Colin Meade (21st), Jack Aydt (34th), Will Jones (42nd), Raegan Irwin (44th), Dylan Halley (51st), Austin Stanley (55th) and Seth Davenport (58th). The Foxes boys took 1st place in the race just over 23 points. This was the 3rd consecutive year of the Foxes taking the Hamilton County Invitational Championship! All in all it was a great day with 1st place finishes by the Boys Varsity, Girls Varsity and Boys Junior Varsity.

This was the last time that the Seniors will race at Dolan Lake and each and everyone of them will be missed dearly. They have put in so much time and worked so hard to accomplish their goals each and every year they have ran Cross Country

The Foxes next race will be at Goreville (Ferne Clyffe State Park) for the Black Diamond Conference Championship on Thursday. The Girls race starts at 4:00 p.m. and the Boys run at 4:40 p.m. There will be no open race this year.


  1. HAMILTON COUNTY   –     28
  2. GALATIA                          –     46
  3. THOMPSONVILLE        –     68
  4. ELDORADO                     –     75
  5. CARMI                               –     NTS
  6. WEST FRANKFORT       –     NTS
  7. GOREVILLE                     –     NTS
  8. CHRISTOPHER               –     NTS


  1. HAMILTON COUNTY    –     26
  2. CARMI                               –      49
  3. GOREVILLE                     –      76
  4. WEST FRANKFORT       –      83
  5. HARRISBURG                 –      120
  6. GALATIA                           –      152
  7. WEBBER                           –     NTS
  8. CARRIER MILLS            –     NTS
  9. NCOE                                 –     NTS
  10. ELDORADO                     –     NTS
  11. POPE COUNTY               –     NTS
  12. GALLATIN COUNTY     –     NTS


  1. HAMILTON COUNTY      –     23
  2. FAIRFIELD                         –     74
  3. POPE COUNTY                  –     76
  4. WEST FRANKFORT         –     91
  5. NCOE                                    –    112
  6. CARRIER MILLS               –     136
  7. GALATIA                             –     189
  8. GALLATIN COUNTY        –     NTS
  9. CHRISTOPHER                 –     NTS
  10. THOMPSONVILLE           –     NTS
  11. HARRISBURG                   –     NTS
  12. WEBBER                             –     NTS
  13. GOREVILLE                       –     NTS
  14. CHRIST OUR ROCK L     –     NTS
  15. CARMI                                 –     NTS