Charleston’s Megan Garrett and Mattoon’s Kylie Haacke cross the first mile in Saturday’s cross country invitational at EIU.

By Race Archibald

The annual Charleston Invite was able to take place this year due to a new format, which meant not all runners would run at the same time.

Only two runners from each of the 13 schools represented were sent at a time in order to create as much distance as possible between runners.

“I don’t think anybody knew what to expect today with not having a chance to run against too many teams yet, ” Charleston coach Chris Hawk said. “We competed really well. It was fun to get a meet in that was a little different than what we’re used to, with having people running in pairs as opposed to together with the team.”

Charleston’s Megan Garrett held off Mattoon’s Kylie Haacke to take second overall in the girls varsity race, finishing nearly 18 seconds behind Shelbyville’s Gabby Spain who clocked in at 18 minutes, 59.67 seconds for the three-mile race around the EIU Panther Trail.

Garrett crossed the finish in 19:17.39, nearly 40 seconds faster than her time a week ago on the same course. 

Grace Spoonhour and Ila Richter finished 17th and 18th, respectively, to help Charleston finish fourth as a team, with 126 points. Mahomet-Seymour won the meet with 62 points, with three girls finishing inside the top 11. Shelbyville had 75 points for second.

“A couple girls stepped up and put themselves in a different position because they weren’t going off the rest of the team,” Hawk said. “I think we finished where we expected to. Mahomet-Seymour was tough and took everyone today. Shelbyville and Mt. Zion were ahead of us and we came in at fourth. We’re pretty happy with that.”

Kylie Haacke finished third overall at 19:37.93, the only MHS runner to finish inside the top 40. The Green Wave took 10th overall.

Mattoon coach Troy Haacke was pleased with his young team’s progress.

“On the girls side, a couple of our new girls, Chloe Jobe had a four-minute personal best. Her sister, a freshman, had a two-minute personal best,” Haacke said. “Kaylin Richey and Kylie had a minute or so off their best. I’m excited with how they ran today.” 

With the staggered format, and the design of the course, runners from different waves ran past one other in different directions along the campus pond and on the backstretch on the western side of the course.

“We didn’t know exactly how it would go when the different waves would meet,” Hawk said. “It was a little confusing. Even with the spectators, trying to see the runners going in different directions was different for them. But it seemed like it went well, and it had everyone spaced out.”

On the boys’ side, Mattoon’s Brock Davee took second overall for Mattoon, finishing in 15:52.62, crushing his 16:40.67 mark he posted on this same course a week ago. 

Davee finished five seconds ahead of Kyle Nofziger from Mahomet-Seymour, whom he passed up in the final stretch of the race.

“Just about everyone had a personal best,” Haacke said. “We had five guys in the top 40 on the boys side. Brock figured some things out, talking to him he had a heck of a finish. That’s his best of all-time.”

Mattoon’s Sam Ferrar and Trent Hettinger also finished in the top 20, which helped Mattoon finish fourth with 102 points despite having several inexperienced runners.

“Trent, first year out. Quincy Hamilton, first year out. And Tyler Warner is a first-year kid,” Haacke said. “They’re just learning. I’m proud of how they’re running. Sam is a junior now, and he’s doing an outstanding job. He was 15 or so seconds faster than when we ran here last year. We try to compare some of those things.”

Mahomet-Seymour won the boys race with 50 points, including two runners inside the top five. Olney’s won the race in 15:46.20.

Ferrar and Hettinger were only three places apart overall in the race, but, because of the staggered start, did not compete directly against each other. This type of race leads to an interesting strategy described by their head coach.

“Hopefully, they got a chance to run with (runners of the same ability level) a little bit,” Haacke said. “Like in track, go out and win your heat. They had that chance to go out and run with those people with similar ability levels, which is motivational. I think it’s OK. It’s going to take some adjustments and confidence. I told them to run their race because you’re going to have people going everywhere, so make sure you know where you’re going.”

Charleston boys finished 12th, with only Luca Carcasi finishing in the top 30.

PHOTO GALLERY: More than 20 photos from today’s high school meet.

GIRLS TEAM RESULTS

  1. Mahomet-Seymour 62
  2. Shelbyville 75
  3. Mt. Zion 85
  4. Charleston 126
  5. St. Joseph-Ogden 142
  6. Champaign Centennial 186
  7. Newton 205
  8. Effingham 207
  9. Cumberland 211
  10. Mattoon 218
  11. Danville 256
  12. Olney (incomplete squad)
  13. Sullivan (incomplete squad)

GIRLS INDIVIDUAL TOP 20

PLNAMESCHOOLTIME
1Gabby SpainShelbyville18:59.67
2Megan GarrettCharleston19:17.39
3Kylie HaackeMattoon19:37.93
4Elizabeth SimsMahomet-Seymour20:01.22
5Brooklyn SweikarChampaign Centennial20:08.53
6Ava BoydMahomet-Seymour20:08.62
7Jasmyn DittamoreCumberland20:29.83
8Rylea BorgicNewton20:30.13
9Renee BallardMt. Zion20:33.98
10Ava KnappSt. Joseph-Ogden20:38.70
11Klein PowellMahomet-Seymour20:42.00
12Brook SchuttShelbyville20:43.02
13Emily NuttallOlney20:45.12
14Ellie NohrenShelbyville20:48.68
15Hailey BetzerMt. Zion20:51.93
16Bella RamshawChampaign Centennial20:52.74
17Grace SpoonhourCharleston20:59.08
18Ila RichterCharleston21:01.31
19Alexia FinchMt. Zion21:09.63
20Ellie FritzcheMt. Zion21:10.95

Other Charleston runners: 17, Grace Spoonhour, 20:59.08; 18, Ila Richter, 21:01.31, 50, Lilly Long, 22:56.51; 54, Whitley Wood, 23:40.98, 57, Sophie Kattenbraker, 23:54.38, 58, Casey Fisher, 24:21.25, 69, Isabella Kieffer, 25:31.17

Other Mattoon runners: 45, Ashley Jobe, 22:37.92; 56, Chloe Jobe, 23:48.89; 72, Oakley Layton, 25:54.83; 76, Hallee Perry, 26:14.14; 77, Kaylin Richey, 26:16.42; 85, Allie Wells, 35:33.22

BOYS TEAM RESULTS

  1. Mahomet-Seymour 50
  2. Olney 57
  3. St. Joseph-Ogden 60
  4. Mattoon 102
  5. Champaign Centennial 152
  6. Shelbyville 178
  7. Mt. Zion 207
  8. Newton 220
  9. Effingham 232
  10. Danville 261
  11. Cumberland 277
  12. Charleston 302
  13. Sullivan 370

BOYS INDIVIDUAL TOP 20

PLNAMESCHOOLTIME
1Gavin KirbyOlney15:46.20
2Brock DaveeMattoon15:52.62
3Kyle NofzigerMahomet-Seymour15:57.92
4Taylor FanMahomet-Seymour16:44.58
5Brandon MattseySt. Joseph-Ogden16:45.94
6Aaron HendronChampaign Centennial16:50.25
7Brooks JulianOlney16:52.23
8Carson MaroonSt. Joseph-Ogden16:54.10
9Elijah MockSt. Joseph-Ogden17:01.81
10Hayden GrotulueschenMahomet-Seymour17:06.87
11Zach FentonMt. Zion17:11.24
12Holden HoughOlney17:11.91
13Keaton HancockOlney17:13.59
14Julian BakerMt. Zion17:16.89
15John TenderMahomet-Seymour17:20.03
16Luke StegallSt. Joseph-Ogden17:20.43
17Sam FerrarMattoon17:21.61
18Jonah SingerMahomet-Seymour17:22.25
19Braden CoxCumberland17:22.91
20Trent HettingerMattoon17:23.94

Other Charleston runners: 28, Luca Carcasi, 17:46.42; 66, Adam Rudibaugh, 19:52.84; 67, Mason Reeley, 19:53.23; 72, Eugene Ohba, 20:37.58; 85, Ashton Fifield, 21:47.53; 94, Nicholas Hawk, 25:54.55, 95, Marshall Smith, 26:40.56

Other Mattoon runners: 17, Sam Ferrar, 17:21.61; 20, Trent Hettinger, 17:23.94; 27, Quincy Hamilton, 17:43.65; 36, Tyler Warner, 18:13.55; 51, Brandon Creel, 19:02.98; 56, Mac Beadles, 19:19.28; 57, Tristin Grove, 19:21.36

GIRLS OPEN RACE

PLNAMESCHOOLTIME
1Callie JansenMahomet-Seymour21:54.17
2Alyssa ChristensenMahomet-Seymour22:25.97
3Olivia BuntingMahomet-Seymour22:42.35
4Chloe AllenMahomet-Seymour22:45.85
5Ella WoltersMahomet-Seymour23:04.22
6Brooke BallardMt. Zion23:18.88
7Lauren BednarMahomet-Seymour23:30.48
8Gretchen ScheeleMahomet-Seymour25:25.06
9Chloe KarnesMt. Zion26:46.40
10Annabel WehrleCharleston27:20.64
11Raina WolfMt. Zion27:20.81
12Celeste WolfMt. Zion28:01.87
13Jordyn KiefferCharleston30:58.24
14John BlakleyDanville59:24.70

BOYS OPEN RACE

PLNAMESCHOOLTIME
1Gage WilliamsMahomet-Seymour19:23.71
2Matthew SimsMahomet-Seymour19:23.96
3Gabe DifanisMahomet-Seymour19:33.04
4Caleb DowersMahomet-Seymour19:38.88
5Finn RandolphMahomet-Seymour20:16.01
6Brock GoonanMattoon20:51.20
7Cale FogartyMattoon20:51.37
8Aiden HudsonMattoon20:54.35
9Nathan MorganMattoon21:20.79
10Avery SeamanMahomet-Seymour21:32.07
11Mitchell GergeniMattoon21:51.09
12Ty EastinMattoon21:53.67
13Wyatt McCartyChampaign Centennial22:16.99
14Gavin AshChampaign Centennial22:34.01
15Lincoln ScottMattoon22:51.20
16Paul BatesSullivan23:10.49
17Zach HoodShelbyville23:32.69
18Cody BrowneSullivan24:09.82
19Ramiz ImtiazChampaign Centennial24:27.11
20Christian RaddatzEffingham24:37.00
21Charles HongChampaign Centennial24:37.57
22Parsh AminEffingham24:51.91
23Izik HoodShelbyville24:56.76
24Frank RosenEffingham25:10.77