By: Lenny Sementi
Mother Nature stoked the fires again last week and the blast furnace may have affected the times of some Tuscola cross-country runners on Tuesday October 1 but it didn’t take away their heart. Brynn Tabeling led the girls and Mason Day led the boys in a double sweep at a three-way meet at Rantoul’s Chanute Air Force Base that included Rantoul and Armstrong.
“We had a bit of a change of pace week, where we had two meets during the week and a Saturday off for the first time in a long time,” stated Coach Mike Rosenbaum. “This definitely worked to our advantage, as I think the weeks were beginning to become monotonous.”
Tabeling led the charge for the girls winning the race in 22-minutes and 48-seconds. Hannah Hershberger was next up taking second overall, Hannah Hornaday followed in third and Sage Stahler made it a clean sweep of the top four spots. Kenzi Heckler was fifth and final scorer securing a seventh place finish helping the Lady Warriors to their lowest team score of the year (17-points).
Logan Wallace and Mason Day led the boys to the win taking second and third respectively beating the heat by touring the course in a dead heat 19:17. Riley Nolan was next in fourth place with a 19:59. River Kanitz and Nicolas Woods rounded out the scoring taking eighth and ninth place allowing the Warriors to score a mere 24-points upending Rantoul by 17-points.
Times were better a few nights later on Thursday the third in a nine-team event at Lodge Park in Monticello. Day was top for Tuscola taking eighth against some of the best talent in the area with a 17:19. Wallace held down the two hole for Tuscola taking thirteenth with an 18-minute flat effort. Kanitz was next two spots back in fifteenth just six seconds back of Wallace. Woods and Nolan finished off the scoring in twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth place. All five runners were under the 19-minute mark for the first time this season.
Tabeling enjoyed the cooler temps on Thursday at Lodge turning in one of her better runs of the season crossing the line in 20:38 to take seventh. Hershberger was in the two-hole taking twenty-third with a 23:40. Hornaday was close behind in twenty-fourth while Faithlyn Daugherty and Kenzi Heckler finished off the scoring.
“Tuesday was a scorcher, and I think the heat got to all of the runners. In spite of conditions, our girls took the first four spots, and the boys went 2-3-4 on the way to double wins for the team,” commented the coach. “This week we will be back at it, going to Sullivan for a five team event on Thursday and then travel to Cumberland Invitational on Saturday.”