By Kyle Daubs
For many, these names should sound familiar.
Four former standout runners are succeeding at the collegiate level.
Starting with 2021 Charleston High School graduate Grace Spoonhour, who is running at Heartland Community College. Spoonhour finished as the team’s No. 2 runner at the NJCAA Division II Cross Country Championships where Heartland was the national runner-up.
Spoonhour placed 18th overall and barely missed All-American honors. Spoonhour ran the 5,000-meter course at a time of 19:51.1. In 2020, Heartland was the nation’s runner-up and missed winning the national championship by 16 points.
Spoonhour’s former teammate and 2021 CHS grad, Megan Garrett, saw her school, Adams State, win the NCAA Division II National Championship. Garrett was not a part of the team’s top seven that ran at the championships. Garrett is also a freshman.
Mattoon High School 2020 grad Quincy Collings narrowly missed qualifying as an individual for nationals at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Cross Country Championships. Collings, a sophomore, was the team’s No. 2 runner. She placed 40th out of 188 runners and Millikin finished eighth as a team. Collings also earned All-Conference Second Team honors this season. Her time of 23:19.9 in the 6K race was the eighth fastest in school history. She then shed 18 seconds off her time at the Regional to finish her year with the seventh-fastest time in school history.
2021 MHS grad Kylie Haacke, meanwhile, finished a stellar season for Eastern Illinois University. Haacke nearly scored as the team’s seventh runner at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships where EIU placed third as a team. Haacke was the team’s ninth runner in 19:38.5, which placed her 40th out of 83 runners. Haacke, a freshman, ran in nearly every race for the Division I program this season.