Postseason starts for cross country harriers
The postseason began in earnest Saturday for Carlinville’s cross country team. The Cavies were able to secure team spots in the sectional next weekend with first and second place finishes.
The girls team won the Shelbyville Regional at Dacey Trail while the boys team from Carlinville finished second to the host Rams.
The Cavies won the girls race by finishing five in the top 23 while Litchfield had five of the top 32 finishers. Carlinville outlasted Litchfield 60-63, with Shelbyville third at 105, Sullivan 115 and Mt. Zion 134.
Colleen Madden, who was second last week in the South Central Conference meet to Pana’s Claudia Magussen, this time held on to win the regional crown.
Madden came in at 18:26, ahead of Magnussen’s 18:29. Fellow senior classmate Jacey Roper of Carlinville finished third at 18:44. Litchfield’s Alexandria Quarton and Madi Throne finished fourth and fifth.
Carlinville also got strong contributions from sophomore Madelynn Williams, 16th at 20:23 and freshman Molly Lewis, 22nd at 21:29. Sophomore Stasia Nejmanowski finished 25th at 21:32. Sophomore Mackenzie Harris was 41st at 22:32 and sophomore Ryleigh Gibbel 43rd at 22:37.
“I am very happy for both teams,” Carlinville coach Charlie Helton said. “The girls were able to accomplish their goal of a regional championship even when three of our top seven were not at their best. That says a lot about this group’s character and resilience. Running behind our seniors who are always at the front gives the younger girls so much confidence. It was fun to watch.”
The boys ran a more of a tempo style race and finished a solid second to host Shelbyville on Saturday.
The Rams had four of the top five scores and finished with 26 points. Carlinville had four in the top 10 and finished second with 46 points.
“The boys took more of a tempo run approach and eased their way to a second place qualifying finish,” Helton said. “We know we will be in for a battle at the Decatur Sectional next week as seven of the top 10 Class A boys teams in the state will be there.”
Marcus Skinner of Shelbyville ran to victory in a time of 15:36. Carlinville’s top runner was Nolan Kreipe, sixth at 16:31.24. Cory Landon finished seventh at 16:31.7 and Jason Landon was eighth at 16:43. Also finishing in the top 10 was Charles Helton IV, 10th at 16:52.
“The boys ran very smart and looked under control,” Helton said. “I am very proud to coach a group that executes the plan so well. That speaks volumes of their preparation and their ability to run intelligently.”
Carlinville also got a 16th place finish from Grayson Armour in 17:16. Samuel Mock finished 21st at 17:28 and Bailey Lippold was 37th at 18:33.
The top seven teams in each regional advance to sectionals. Carlinville will participate in the Decatur St. Teresa Sectional Saturday at Hickory Point Golf Course in Forsyth. The girls race starts at 10 a.m. and the boys will run at 11 a.m.