Charleston’s Ari Weiss, one of three sisters who ran Thursday, sprints ahead of a St. Anthony’s runner to the finish.

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Charleston Middle coach John McInerney said he was glad to see runners competing across the open fields at Eastern Illinois University on Thursday night.

Although he still fears the season could be shut down again. With reason.

Charleston Middle coach John McInerney

The IESA Board had done just that on July 24, citing health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 in its decision. The board re-considered that decision eight days later after the IHSA released a plan July 31 to readjust high school sports schedules.

So, for now, middle school baseball, softball and cross country can compete across the state.

As a result, CMS eighth-grader Hadley Webb was able to sprint to the finish line Thursday night just past EIU’s right-field fence to clock in at 13 minutes, 1 second to win the girls two-mile race, finishing 13 seconds ahead of a St. Anthony runner.

And Blake Homann beat the runner-up in the boys race by more than 80 seconds to finish in 13:15. CMS teammate Artem Lindley took second in 14:43.

More than 50 sixth, seventh and eighth-graders ran across EIU’s open fields and paths while parents, coaches, family and friends watched behind masks.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS