Story and photo by Chet Piotrowski
The course at Olney Central College was described as “sloshy” and “sloggy” by several runners.
Mattoon’s Kylie Haacke (above) didn’t let those less than ideal conditions bring her down. The senior concluded her cross country career, in her words “happy,” with an 11th place finish at the Class 2A Olney cross country sectional meet Saturday morning.
“I’m really happy with it,” she said coming into Saturday’s sectional as the 13th seeded runner. “It’s my last sectionals since I’m a senior, I just wanted to run and go out and do my best and make sure I finished strong.”
“It was sloshy,” Haacke said. “I think it affected everyone. You just sunk into the ground instead of running right over it.”
The race didn’t start that way though.
For Haacke, it started out faster than expected.
“The beginning of the race was a little uncomfortable only because we got out so hot,” she said. “I think my first 800 was a 2:40 something. That’s pretty fast considering I typically run between 2:50 and three minutes. That was pretty fast, and after that, I got settled in. I don’t think it hurt me; it may have been better for me honestly.”
The Green Wave runner finished the course in 19 minutes, 35.4 seconds –33 seconds off this year’s best.
“I’ve run here before where it’s been similar to this with the wet grass and puddles,” she said.
Mattoon coach Troy Haacke said he was happy with the girl’s effort.
“The girls performed really well today. Kylie set the tone today and finished eighth in her heat; a few girls in the next heat got her. She ran good in her final senior race,” he said. “Ashley and Chloe (Jobe) showed up. This course ran a little slow, but they ran right where they were supposed to be. The two freshmen girls, Hallee (Perry) and Oakley (Layton), did an outstanding job. Kaylin almost PR’d.”
Mattoon, projected at 15th as a team, finished 13th.
“I kind of think of us as underdog,” Kylie Haacke said. “We weren’t projected to come here. Our team ran phenomenal at regionals. We’re so young. Out of our top five, I’m the only one that has experience in this. The rest of them are either freshmen or new to this. It was awesome and I’m proud of them.”
Charleston senior Megan Garrett took 23rd overall in 20:19.94, followed by senior teammate Grace Spoonhour in 32nd at 20:36.12. Sophomore Ila Richter finished in 21:18.15 for 53rd place.
Troy Haacke felt the course was an issue, but that didn’t stop the effort his girls made.
“I think the course was a just little bit slow because the ground was a soggy a little bit,” he said. “In the woods, you can’t get up to speed like you want, and it might be a hair longer than three miles. But as far as effort today, they ran great.”
Junior Brock Davee led the Green Wave boys in 16:23.79 to take 11th.
Said Troy Haacke said: “That’s a heckuva time and probably would’ve qualified for state.”
Quincy Hamilton followed Davee in 17:24.57 for 47th place.
“I will say the hay was in the barn for the day,” said Hamilton. “We all came out and worked hard. We showed our stuff. This is the second time I’ve ran the course this year. The first time wasn’t so well. It was an all right day.”
He said the wet surface just made him want to run harder.
“It made me just want to pass more people,” he said.
“Quincy was the only one I saw make up a big difference in the woods. I think he said he passed six or seven people in the woods,’ the Green Wave coach said. “He came on strong the last two miles and had a heckuva finish going up the straightaway.”
Charleston junior Luca Carcasi clocked in at 17:37 to finish 70th overall.
Mattoon captain Mackinley Beadle took 83rd in 18:14.52.
“The boys fought like crazy today,” Troy Haacke said. “They got in and there were some outstanding teams. They were maybe perhaps shocked at how fast things started and affected them as they ran. They ran hard and did the best they could today.”
Beadle agreed with his coach.
“I felt like in this conditions with it being as sloggy as it was, I think we all pushed so hard and worked. I think at the end of the day we tried our best to succeed.”
BOYS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
|7||Kyle Nofziger||Mahomet (M.-Seymour)||16:10.17|
|8||Gavin Kirby||Olney (Richland County)||16:15.77|
|10||Aidan Peterson||Chatham (Glenwood)||16:17.76|
BOYS TEAM RESULTS
- Mascoutah 72, 2. Glenwood 84, 3. Marion 97, 4. Mahomet 146, 5. Richland County 156, 6. Rochester 175, 7. Carbondale 201, 8. Springfield 212, 9. Champaign Central 261 10. Highland 270, 11. Troy Triad 285, 12. Bethalto Civic Memorial 286, 13. Mattoon 286, 14. Lincoln 320, 15. Urbana 326
GIRLS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
|4||Hannah Meiser||Bethalto (Civic Memorial)||19:10.16|
|5||Elizabeth Sims||Mahomet (M.-Seymour)||19:15.49|
|6||Ava Gorrie||Chatham (Glenwood)||19:18.14|
|7||Emma Leahy||Chatham (Glenwood)||19:21.00|
|9||Reagan Weichold||Chatham (Glenwood)||19:28.16|
GIRLS TEAM RESULTS
- Glenwood 44, Mahomet 134, 3. Mascoutah 135, 4. Mt. Zion 145, 5. Highland 149, 6. Waterloo 170, 7. Troy Triad 173, 8. Lincoln 224, 9. Rochester 256, 10. Charleston 273, 11. Richland County 273, 12. Springfield 281, 13. Mattoon 299, 14. Taylorville 309, Carbondale 324
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