Charley Condill, Emma Edwards and Alisha Frederick take off at the beginning of the I.H.S.A. Regional Cross Country meet in Forsyth last Saturday morning. The meet was run in flights and the other members of the team, Mackenzie Brown, Sarah Rafferty and Mackenzi Bowles ran in subsequent flights. The girls finished in seventh place just missing out on being in the top five and advancing to the sectional meet next weekend. It was a banner year for the girls’ team as they set many “firsts” and they should be commended for their efforts.
The ALAH Knights cross country team traveled to Decatur on Saturday October 24th to run the IHSA Class 1A Regional hosted by St. Teresa High School. The meet was held at Hickory Point Golf Club. Going in, the Knights faced one of the deepest and most talented regional lineups in the state. Along with the 8th ranked local squad were 5th ranked St.Joe – Ogden, 9th ranked Monticello, 15th ranked Unity as well as Tuscola and BHRA in the top 25. Several other elite talents were sprinkled across the 17 teams entered.
Running into a clear, brisk and breezy morning the first flight of boys ranked 1-3 within their respective teams assembled in their starting boxes. Starting along side Monticello and SJO, the Knights fired off from the start. With senior Layton Hall in the lead pack were Knights sophomores Logan Beckmier and Lyle Adcock. Also running in this fast pack were a pair of runners from Monticello and SJO as well as Eli Mojonnier from BHRA. This pack stayed connected thru a hot 1st mile ran in 5 minutes. At the 2 mile mark Hall began to assert his dominance while opening a 15 yard gap on the athletes from Monticello. Beckmier and Adcock stayed within striking distance of the pack while running strong. At the finish, Hall prevailed winning in 15:33. He is followed by Monticello’s top 2, Mojonnier, with Mattsey of SJO grabbing the final medal position. Finishing 1 second behind in 6th is the Knight’s Beckmier (16:01) with Adcock in 9th running a PR of 16:14.7.
After the thrilling 1st flight it was up to the Knight’s 4 and 5 runners to put their stamp on a second consecutive regional title. Jace Green and Jacob Adcock proved worthy of the task. Green runs an incredible 4:45 first mile while dualling with Monticello’s #4. Jacob Adcock is just behind with the 2 runners from SJO. By mile 2, Green had run away from the Monticello athlete while Adcock continued sparing with the guys from St. Joe. With a little over 3/8 of a mile left, Green, Adcock and the SJO athletes traded blows while trading places over the fairways of Hickory Point. With a final dash to the finish, Green finishes the flight in 2nd place but 13th overall and Jacob Adcock is just behind in 3rd while finishing 15th overall in a massive 33 second PR of 16:40.5. Adcock’s drive to the finish shute allows him to outleg SJO’s #5 by 1 tenth of a second. Green and J. Adcock’s efforts sealed the deal and the Knights out dual SJO by a score of 44 – 50. Defending state champion Monticello is 3rd with 66 points.
In the 6/7 race, Jacob Duzan runs strong with his second fastest time of the year (18:00) finishing 42nd overall and Reggie Edmonds goes 48th overall with a 10 second PR of 18:20. The Knight’s men advance to the IHSA Sectional level next Saturday. They will return to Hickory Point to compete with the top 5 teams from the Decatur, Carlinville, and Chrisman regionals.
The Lady Knights also harbored sectional qualifying aspersions. Knowing that the elites from Monticello, Unity, Uni High and SJO would most likely gobble up 4 of the top 5 advancing slots, the girls from ALAH knew they were in a fight with St. Thomas More and Oakwood for the coveted 5th qualifying spot. In spite of their exceptional effort on a soft, damp course, the ladies in red fell just short of their goal of advancing with their male counterparts finishing the team race in 7th position.
Charley Condill completes her inaugural cross country season with a near PR of 21:08 while finishing 36th. Alisha Frederick finishes off her 1st season of cross country competition in 41st position in 21:39 just off her season’s best. Makenzie Brown runs her second fastest time of the year going into the 48th spot. Emma Edwards is just behind in 48th running a solid 22:32. Sarah Rafferty completes her first campaign in cross country in 22:41 also just off her best finishing 51st. Mackenzi Bowles rounds out the scoring with one of her top 3 efforts to finish in 69th.
Besides returning letter winner Emma Edwards, the other Lady Knights had never competed in Cross Country before. Their efforts and improvements were evident and appreciated by the Central Illinois running community. Their work ethic and competitiveness are highly appreciated. Here’s to hoping the underclassmen return for a second harrier campaign!