By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s cross country team has been running toward the post season, and Saturday, Oct. 6 they took their show on the road traveling south to Lake Land College in Mattoon to take part in the Cumberland Invitational. It was a loaded field that included some of the state’s top ranked squads from both central and southern Illinois.
Freshman Logan Wallace stepped up his game, joining JD Barrett and Noah Woods in the field’s top twenty when the dust had settled. Wallace, who was the third scorer for coach Dustin Dees, entered the chute in 20th posting an 18:24 on the 3-mile college course, helping the Warriors to a sixth place finish overall out of more than 20 teams and nearly 400 runners.
Barrett led the way for Tuscola ending his day in eighth overall and crossing the finish line in 17 minutes and 23 seconds. Woods was next up in the two hole for Tuscola two spots in front of Wallace in 18th with a 17:54. Mason Day and Jake Dyer rounded out the scoring taking 41st and 75th, respectively, while Nicholas Woods and Caleb Haste served as alternates.
“JD had a great day finishing in the top eight, he’s so consistent, he’s made himself into an area top runner,” stated coach Dees. “He just brings it every meet. And, Logan just brought it Saturday. He is really finding his stride right now. He has the potential to be really good, and coach Shannon Smith and I are hoping he continues to show that in our coming meets.”
Brynn Tabeling led a well-balanced team effort for the Lady Warriors as the entire squad finish in the top 75 runners, landing in seventh place overall. Tabeling took 18th overall, finishing her day less than a half minute out of the top ten posting a 22:02. Senior Ashton Smith was right on her heels crossing the line 16 seconds later to 25th overall as the Warriors’ number two.
Hannah Lemay was the third scorer taking 47 with a 24:18, while Kenzie Heckler and Hannah Hornaday rounded out the scoring, landing in 50th and 55th, respectively. Abby Jacob and Kyla Gough were shoulder to shoulder crossing in 64th and 65th, serving as the alternates.
“Our girls team had a great showing finishing seventh and with all seven girls landing in the top half,” stated the coach. “We are extremely excited for this group. They just keep getting better. We hope we can have some fun and make a big push this post season.”
The Warriors travel to Clinton Thursday, Oct. 11 for the Central Illinois All Conference meet.