By Mike Monahan
Mattoon senior Brock Davee learned from a mistake he made last week at the Peoria Invitational.
After struggling to keep up with the state’s No. 2 runner, Davee ran at his own pace Saturday morning to finish strong and take second in the Cumberland Invitational cross country race held at Lake Land College.
At Peoria, he had finished in 22nd place in 16:05.27 on a usually fast three-mile course.
“I think I ran a better race than I did at Detweiller Park last weekend,” Davee said. “At Detweiller, I had a hot head and tried coming in thinking I was going to be in the top five and tried to stay with (Carbondale’s) Alex Partlow, the No. 1 runner in the state. I came through in the first mile around 4:59 and then I just ate the dust after that. I was trying to run my race a little more than I did at Detweiller. That was the plan today.”
Davee ran 16:17.4 on a tough, muddy course at Lake Land, finishing only behind the state’s No. 2 runner in Class 1A – Benton’s Gavin Genisio, who finished in 15:47.
“I was pretty happy with my race today and it was probably my best race I have had all year other than the Mattoon road race,” said Davee, who has taken first in three invitational this season.
On the girls side, Oaklie Layton was 17th overall in 22:59.82 in the meet that had 80 runners and was won by Marshall’s Isabell Arthur with a time of 19:40. 91.
Mattoon coach Troy Haacke was very happy with Davee’s performance.
“The kid from Benton looks like a collegiate runner,” said Haacke. “He is strong and fast. Brock knew about him as he does a great job of researching who is in the race. This is not an easy course and it is arguably the toughest course we will run all year with soft conditions, hills, turns and it is mushy out there so it takes a lot more energy.”
Mattoon took sixth place with 174 points, two points behind La Salette. Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond easily won with only 49 points.
“Gavin Genisio is a horse,” said Davee. “I was trying to stick with him for a little bit, but then all of the sudden he ran past me like I was nothing.”
Mattoon’s Sam Ferrar finished 14th with a time of 17 minutes, 37.97 seconds while Colton Smith was 36th with a time of 19:00.31 and Chase Armstrong was 54th in 19:34.71. Placing 77th (69th among teams competing) was Cale Fogerty in 20:54.69 as he was among the top 75 to receive a medal.
“The kids came out and they ran well,” said Haacke. “I love how they fought. This is a strategic course where you can run the downhills, you can run the turns and you can make up ground on people if you run it the way we talk about running it, and the kids did that great. Brock finishing second with a lot of great teams is awesome. Sam has some work to do as he didn’t get out extremely hard in the first quarter mile or so. He passed a bunch of people to work his way up. We rested Colton Smith Thursday and came back and ran great today. I am very proud of him. Fogarty was in the top five for us, and the junior works extremely hard. It was good to see him pick off some people today. Ryan was close to a personal record and he is improving all the time for us.”
Haacke said the girls squad had its best performance, despite not having enough runners for a team score. “I have never saw any of the three (Layton, Hallee Perry and Brie Armstrong) have that ‘I-can’t-take-another-step look on their face,'” said Haacke. “They were still fighting until the very end and passing people throughout the whole race. When we asked them to give a little more, they all responded. I am ecstatic about how they ran. Times are not important here because of the course, but how they competed and how their places and finishes were very good.”
The Green Wave were without Zeeland Sanders and Ayden Buckler, who are both expected back for the Apollo Conference meet Tuesday at the Effingham Country Club.
“It was a good temperature today, but it was a really hilly course,” said Oakley, a sophomore, who was competing in the meet for the first time as last year’s was cancelled due to COVID-19. “It is a pretty tough course. My goal for time would have been a little lower than what I got around 21 or 22 and I got 22:59.82. I had run the meet before, but that was in middle school and it was two miles and now it is three miles.”
Placing 22nd overall was Perry, who finished with a time of 23:47.04 and Armstrong was 35th in 25:16.17.
Marshall also easily won the girls team competition with a scant 27 points.
“I usually don’t go out too fast, but I try to keep up with Perry,” Oakley said. “She goes out very fast. My goal in the beginning is to always catch Hallee and try and stick with her as long as I can and usually she falls behind me a little bit near the first mile, but we stick together for a majority of the time. I was happy with my place as I usually am around 20th to 40th place. “
The temperature was 70 with the humidity of 77 percent.
“I really didn’t feel the humidity until the last mile,” said Davee. “You feel the sun gazing down on you and it just keeps getting worse and worse, but it wasn’t that bad. It was a pretty good day. The course was a little mushy, but Lake Land never gets all of the way dry. There was a good 100 meters of running in the mud in the wooded area.”
Apollo Conference meet is Tuesday
“This (Saturday’s meet) was to get the wheels turning again,” said Davee of the team. “So we can perform our best in the conference meet. We are going to try and do as well as we can and contend with Mahomet-Seymour for the conference title.”
Oakley said every race is a warm-up for the conference meet.
“I hear the Effingham course has rolling hills and, since it is at the country club, the grass is shorter and there are smooth fairways,” said Haacke. “We will go to the course Monday and I am assuming it is a smoother run than this course (Lake Land). The tall grass makes you drag your feet through the wet grass as this (Lake Land) is a true cross country course.”
(from ChampionChip 24/7)
BOYS TEAM RESULTS
- ALAH 49, 2. Benton 62, 3. St. Teresa 87, 4. Tuscola 137, 5. La Salette 172, 6. Mattoon 174. 7. Rantoul 176, 8. Unity 191, 10. Marshall 219, 11. Șt. Anthony 266, 12. Cumberland 282, 13. Villa Grove 340, 14. Altamont 340, 15. Dieterich 368, 16. Paris 380, 17. Sullivan 402
GIRLS TEAM RESULTS
- Marshall 27, 2. Benton 63, 3. Cumberland 107, 4. Dieterich 117, 5. St. Anthony 123, 6. St. Teresa 129, 7. Villa Grive 140, 8. Tuscola 175
MATTOON BOYS RESULTS
MATTOON GIRLS RESULTS
|7||Caleb Kernaghan||St. Teresa||17:16.48||11|
|11||Griffen Elder||St. Anthony||17:33.28||11|
|12||Martin Velchek||St. Teresa||17:34.03||11|
|13||Zimmerman Kurt||Villa Grove||17:36.86||9|
|18||Evan Cook||St. Teresa||17:46.06||9|
|20||Chris Halligan||La Salette||17:53.05||12|
|8||Aly Douglass||Okaw Valley||21:14.10||9|
|9||Lindsey Ozier||Okaw Valley||21:40.43||9|
|11||Emma Helmink||St. Anthony||22:02.29||10|
|13||Ellie Stahr||St. Teresa||22:29.41||11|
|16||Maggie Clark||Cumberland County||22:52.67||12|