By Lenny Sementi
Noah Woods and his Tuscola cross country brethren captured a combined five of the top 20 spots in the Central Illinois Conference meet this past Thursday in Clinton. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams went mining for precious medals and came away with a sack full capturing five All-CIC medallions in all, en-route to a second place effort by the boys and a third place outing by the girls.
Woods took the lead for the Warriors tribe scoring as Tuscola’s number one for the first time this season ending his day in fourth overall out of nearly 60 runners from the eight-school league. The senior has been nipping at the heels of the leaders as of late and seems to be peaking at the right time as the Warriors run toward the post season. Woods was strong start to finish on the 3-mile course entering the chute out legging a St. Teresa runner at the line to finish in 16-minutes and 59-seconds, collecting All-CIC honors for the second straight year.
Just five ticks of the clock behind was the JD Barrett. Barrett, who, with Woods, was part of last year’s team champ, has led the way for the Warriors all year. He ended his day as coach Dustin Dees’ number two scorer and in sixth place overall, also taking home All-CIC accolades with a time of 17:04. Mason Day was the third All-CIC performer capturing the 10th and final individual medal for the boys breaking the tape in 17 minutes and 16 seconds.
Just outside the top ten was freshman Logan Wallace. Wallace clocked in with a 17:58 to take 14th overall as the Warriors’ fourth scorer. Wrapping up the team totals as Dees’ fifth scorer was sophomore Nick Woods. The younger of the two Woods took 22nd with a time of 18:50. Jake Dyer and Jordan Middleton were the alternates for Tuscola taking 30th and 31st, respectively, to finish in the top half of the field.
Two runners captured All-CIC honors and earned a spot on the podium for coach Dees’ girls’ squad. Brynn Tabeling was the number one for Tuscola landing in 5th overall in a loaded field, turning in a 20:21 and taking home her second All-Conference award in just her second year in high school. Next up in the two-hole for the Lady Warriors was Ashton Smith. The senior, who fell short of all league honors a season ago by one spot, left no doubt this year securing her All-CIC medal by 23 seconds running a 21:17. Hannah Lemay and Hannah Hornaday were the next two to cross the line helping Tuscola capture third place taking 22nd and 23rd overall. Two spots back of the pair was the Warriors’ final scorer Faithlyn Daugherty in 26th. Coach Dees first alternate Kenzie Heckler was right on her heels taking 26th. Second alternate Kyla Gough was close behind in 28thoverall.
The cross country ends the regular season this week on Tuesday with senior day. Tuscola will host Argenta-Oreana, Bement, Monticello, and Villa Grove at Wimple Park. A few day later on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. Tuscola will take full advantage of the 3-mile course around the pound south of town as they host IHSA’s regional and an opportunity for advancement to the Maroa-Forsyth Sectionals at Hickory Point golf course in Forsyth.