Cross country squads open shop Saturday
By Eric Becker
CARLINVILLE (Aug. 24, 2017) – Returning the entire boys team from last year, the Carlinville Cavaliers set out to eclipse some new goals for the upcoming season.
The season opens with a new meet, Saturday at Champaign St. Thomas More. The first home meet is Aug. 29 with the Carlinville Early Meet.
The boys team advanced to state last year, but were not satisfied with an 18th place finish, which bolds well heading into this year, according to CHS head coach Charlie Helton.
“We were regional champs last year, and I see no reason why that wouldn’t repeat,” Helton said. “Their training looks great. They weren’t satisfied with 18th in the state, that’s for sure. I think that is a good catalyst for working hard for this season.”
The Cavies return Jason Landon, the team’s top runner, along with Samuel Mock, Charles Helton IV, Bailey Lippold, Grayson Armour and Jacob Landon who all had vast experience for the Cavies.
Senior Seth Evans has been working hard as well, and two of the younger runners, Briley Roper and Cale Williams, look to contribute as well, along with Dustin Roberts, Max Wilson, Colin Leonard and Cameron Strubbe, four freshmen into the program.
“I see no reason for us to drop off next year, despite having five seniors,” Helton said. “These guys have a lot of fun and seem to really enjoy training together.”
The girls team will look to senior leadership from Mackenzie Harris and Rachel Strubbe, four juniors in Molly Lewis, Rachel Olroyd, Justice Brock and newcomer Gabriella Marchiori, and sophomores Rory Drew, Skylar Nickel and Patty Walch.
Drew is the team’s returning fastest runner.
“We’re still rebuilding from Colleen (Madden) and Jacey (Roper) graduating two years ago,” admitted Helton. “But we have two good seniors and four juniors that will be contributors.”
Lewis was the team’s highest finisher at state two years ago which remains on the squad. “She’s been a great leader and does a great job,” Helton said.
“I’m hopeful – we feel like we’d like to give Litchfield a run this year,” Helton said, stating Litchfield overtook Carlinville for the conference crown last season, ending a four-year Cavie run. “They’d like to get that back this year – that’s probably the biggest goal for the season.”
Litchfield girls should have a strong team, while Roxana boys and girls should be strong as well this season.
The Carlinville Invite is Oct. 10 while the South Central Conference meet in Brighton is Oct. 16.
Regionals in Shelbyville are Sept. 21 and the sectional meet at Carlinville this year, is set for Oct. 28.
The 2017 Carlinville cross country team, front row, from left, are: Skylar Nickel, Rory Drew, Gabriella Marchiori, Molly Lewis, Mackenzie Harris, Rachel Strubbe, Rachel Olroyd, Justice Brock and Patty Walch. Back row: Bailey Lippold, Samuel Mock, Seth Evans, Dustin Roberts, Max Wilson, Briley Roper, Jason Landon, Charles Helton IV, Jacob Landon, Grayson Armour, Cale Williams, Colin Leonard, Cameron Strubbe.