By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s cross country team is hitting its stride as the 2020 regular season winds down. The Warriors boys and girls team put a big smile on head coach Mike Rosenbaum notching personal and or seasonal best times this past Tuesday at Tabor Park in Sullivan in a six-team event. Both boys and girls squads ended their nights in second place overall posting thirteen seasonal and or personal best outings out of the eighteen entrants.
Freshman Josiah Hortin was at the front of the pack for the boy’s teams while senior Laney Cummings led the charge for the Lady Warriors. Hortin went toe to toe with one of the best in the state Logan Bekmeier from Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond and came up a mere second short posting both a SR and PR crossing the line in 16 minutes and 19 seconds. He was one second behind the ALAH runner leading the Warriors to a second place finish as a team. He ran an 18:35 on September first and a little over a month later has erased over two minutes from his three mile time.
“I was super excited with how we ran tonight. Thirteen of our 18 kids ran PRs or season best times,” the coach said. “I thought the kids did an excellent job of battling, and it was exciting to see Laney pick up another win. Josiah going stride for stride with Beckmeier from ALAH, he’s one the best in the area, really opened up some eyes. It let people around the area know that he’s for real. It was a great day, and a nice way to set us up for the conference championships coming up.”
Cummings, a first year runner as well, captured her second win of her career. She seems to be setting personal bests every time out the last few weeks She broke 21 minutes for the first time as well breaking the tape in 20:52 helping her team to a second place finish in the girls race.
Classmate Brynn Tabeling was the next Lady Warrior to finish for coach Rosenbaum. The fourth year runner turned in a 21:40 taking fourth overall out of nearly 40 runners. Reggan Smith held down the third scoring spot with a 22:15 taking off nearly three minutes of her time as the season has progressed. Seniors Hannah Hornaday and Makenzie Herschberger shaved time off their SR’s also. Hornaday erased over two minutes from hers delivering a 22:48 and Herschberger deducted a minute posting a 24:25 to take eleventh and eighteenth respectively. Sklyar Wilkins and Mia Hausman weren’t far behind touring Tabor Park as alternates.
Seven boys followed Hortin’s lead, lowering their season best. All five scorers set new standards. Riley Nolan was in the two hole taking ninth with a 17:54. Jackson Barrett was next up in eleventh with an 18:03. Senior and first year runner Aiden Beachy followed with an 18:42 taking 16th while sophomore Mason Veach rounded out the scoring taking nineteenth breaking 19 minutes for the first time in his career. Ben Hornaday set a personal best as the first alternate going sub 21 minutes with a 20:48.
Tuscola travels to Shelbyville this Thursday for the Central Illinois Conference meet where both the boys and girls team will be hunting some all league hardware both as a team and individually. They return home next week on October 20 to celebrate senior night at Wimple Park following their final regular season meet.