By Lenny Sementi
Two weeks ago, Tuscola’s cross country sweated through one of the hottest weeks of ‘2019’ and this past Saturday in Mattoon they took on a challenging course, more than 20-teams, over 250-runners and temperatures in the high 30’s. It was the ying and the yang for coach Mike Rosenbaum’s girls and boys squads but they didn’t miss a beat as the prepare for a stretch run heading into what looks to be a cold post season.
“We competed well this week,” stated the coach. “As we conclude our regular season and move into the championship portion of the season I feel we are prepared for anything the weather throws at us.”
Brynn Tabeling led the girls to a seventh place, 166-point outing taking seventeenth overall. The junior entered to chute in 21-minutes and 50-seconds to set the tone. Next up was Mackenzie Hershberger in forty-fourth overall turning in a 24:46. She led a pack of ladies in black in gold that captured the next two spots as well. Hannah Hornaday was the number three scorer one spot back in forty-fifth with a 24:27. Following right behind was senior Faithlyn Daugherty who was just five ticks back taking capturing forty-sixth. Hannah Lemay rounded out the scoring touring the course in 26:32. Kenzi Heckler served as the alternate for coach Rosenbaum.
Mason Day was tops for Tuscola in the boys race finishing in front of 150-runners in the boys rack to take eighteenth overall breaking the tape in 17:35. Rosenbaum looked to senior River Kanitz in the two-hole due to an injury to Logan Wallace, which held him out this past week. Kanitz answered with an 18:46 to take forty-first overall. Next in line was Riley Nolan and Nicholas Woods. The duo crossed the line in fifty-sixth and fifty-seventh place posting a 19:29 and 19:30 respectively. Zach Mattingly ended the scoring for Tuscola ending his day in the top half of the field in seventy-third with a 20:09. Tanner Campbell was close behind rounding the course as the Warriors alternate.
Both of Rosenbaums’ teams impressed earlier in the week at a six-team event in Sullivan. Day was out front for the boys taking first with an 18:01 and Kanitz was right behind in virtual dead heat taking third leading Tuscola to the win. Nolan was up front as well taking fifth while Woods and Mattingly rounded out the scoring posting a fourteenth place finish and a nineteenth place finish. Jacob Middleton was on the trails around the late serving as the alternate.
The girls ended their day in first also leaning on a second place effort from Tabeling who ended her three-mile jaunt in 20:52. Two seconds was all that separated Daugherty, Herschberger and Hornaday. The trio ran as a pack taking eighth, ninth and tenth respectively. Lemay scored in the five-hole for Rosenbaum and Heckler served as the alternates.
“After winning both meets on Tuesday, we tackled the cold weather on Saturday at Lake Land. I was proud of how we competed against the other teams at the meet despite the adverse conditions. This week we have the conference meet on Thursday at Scovill, where we hope to see some personal records. “