By Kyle Daubs

Troy Haacke wants the Apollo Conference meet to take place this year. If nothing else, so his senior daughter can compete one more time.

Last year, Haacke missed winning the conference title by 11 seconds, finishing runner-up to Mahomet-Seymour’s Elizabeth Sims. Sims returns as a junior. 

Mattoon hasn’t had a conference champion since Megan Shaffer in 2013.

“Mahomet and Mt. Zion was only a point a part for the team championship,” Troy Haacke said. “Mahomet brings back Elizabeth Sims, who is a two-time conference champ.  Kylie was runner up followed by Grace Lietz of Mahomet and Lucy Griffith of Mt. Zion. It should be a good race.”

What might help is a home-field advantage. The Apollo Conference championship race will be held in Charleston on the Panther Trail. Haacke is hopeful to see Kylie break the 19-minute barrier. Last year, Haacke ran a personal best 19:00.8 at the Peoria Invitational. 

Haacke will also have a shot at qualifying for the state race for a third year in a row. However, she lost a running mate in Quincy Collings, who will continue her running career at Millikin University. 

Aside from Haacke, the Lady Wave runners are young.

Allie Wells, Lauryn Samuelson, and Kaylin Richey are returning letter winners. The team is still in search of finding newcomers to fill out the rest of the holes on the team slot. 

“I hope they all do. They all have been working hard and improving,” said Haacke.  “Chloe Jobe, Ashley Jobe, Emily Maple, Hallee Perry, Oakley Layton are all new to the team and are working hard and improving everyday.”

Mattoon begins its season with Charleston at Douglas Nature Heart on Monday, while the team’s only main invite will be the conference meet on October 13th. The postseason is scheduled to follow. 

From now to then, the Lady Wave will have plenty of time to prime themselves for their best race towards the end of the fall. 

“Besides Kylie, our girls’ team is really young but we are excited for them and the growth they are going to show throughout the season,” said Haacke. 

Roster

Senior: Kylie Haacke

Juniors: Chloe Jobe, Lauryn Samuelson, Allie Wells

Sophomore: Kaylin Richey

Freshmen: Ashley Jobe, Emily Maple, Oakley Layton, Hallee Perry

SCHEDULE

DateEventLocationTime
8/24CharlestonDouglas Hart Nature Center4:30 pm
8/27CharlestonEIU Panther Trails4:30 pm
9/5Charleton InvitesEIU Panther Trails9 am
9/10Mt. ZionFt. Daniels Conservation Area (Decatur)4:30 pm
9/19Olney InviteOlney Central College10 am
9/23Charleston, Mt. ZionMeadowview GC4 pm
10/8Champaign Central, Mt. ZionMeadowview GC4 pm
10/13Apollo ConferenceEIU Panther Trails4:30 pm