By Lenny Sementi
Both Tuscola cross country teams took one more step towards the post season with two big meets this past week. The Warriors traveled to Rantoul on Tuesday the 25th for a quadrangular with Rantoul and Paxton Buckley Loda. Both the girls’ and boys’ teams won the meet with JD Barrett leading the way for the boys and Brynn Tabeling pushing forward for the girls.
Two days later, on Thursday, they took on state ranked Monticello at Lodge Park in a seven-team meet that included the hosts Argenta-Oreana, Arthur, Maroa Forsythe, Judah Christian and Central A&M. Once more it was Tabeling and Barrett out front for Coach Dees, and, like Tuesday, Noah Woods for the boys and Ashton Smith for the girls weren’t far behind.
“It was a very strong week for us,” Dees commented. “We posted a victory in the boys and girls against some big schools in Rantoul and were only behind a very good Monticello team at Lodge Park. Both the girls and boys ran very well at Monticello! We are coming together at the right time.”
The Warriors edged Rantoul on the boys’ side by just two points to take home the win. Barrett was third overall in the five team event, crossing the line in 18 minutes flat. He was fourth a few nights later at Lodge but was a minute better turning in a 16:59. Woods was the number two in both, taking sixth at Rantoul and ninth at Monticello where he ran a 17:16. Mason Day held down the three for Tuscola with an eighth and 12th place finish, while Jake Dyer was the four with an 11th and 19th. Logan Wallace was the final scorer securing the win and runner up finish entering the chute at Rantoul in 12th overall and 27th overall at Lodge. Nick Woods, Jordan Middleton, and Tanner Campbell served as alternates in both events.
Tabeling is peaking at the right time, and it showed at Rantoul where the freshman was first overall for the girls with a time of 22:12. She was actually stronger two nights later at Monticello despite taking third behind two of the state’s top runners and erasing nearly two minutes off her time from Rantoul. Smith was the two in both taking second at Rantoul and 14th at a loaded Monticello meet turning in a low time of 22:17. Hannah Hornaday was next in the three hole for coach Dees taking fifth at Rantoul and 19th at Monticello. Kenzie Heckler and Hannah Lemay rounded out the scoring in both meets. The duo took fourth and fifth respectively at Rantoul.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Oct. 3 edition of The Tuscola Journal.