By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s boys and girls cross country team like they have all season long shaved seconds off their personal and seasonal best times as they attacked the three mile Dacey Trail course in Shelbyville at the Central Illinois Conference meet this past Thursday. Some of those precious ticks of the clock proved to be valuable as both squads finished the day in third place overall.
Senior Laney Cummings and freshman Josiah Hortin toured the course as the Warriors number one’s both earning All CIC honors in the girls and boys races respectively collecting some hardware for themselves. Cummings broke 20-minutes for the first time in her short career taking sixth overall out of nearly 50 runners crossing the finish line in 19 minutes and 59 seconds. Hortin stayed in front of a pack of host Rams to capture third overall in a race touring the tree lined hilly course in 16:39.
Shelbyville ended the day with both team titles in one of the most competitive league races in the past few years. Mason Veach made his seconds count. The unlikely hero beat out a pair of St. Teresa runners and one Clinton runner in the final 100 yards to break a tie with Clinton giving the Warriors third place outright in the boys division. Tuscola and Clinton were tied at 71 after both teams had five scoring runners so it fell to the first alternate and that was Veach posting a personal best 18:23.
Senior Aiden Beachy was the number two for the first time this season for coach Mike Rosenbaum PR ing by over a minute delivering a 17:46 to take 13th overall. Juniors Riley Nolan and Logan Wallace were a few spots back finishing in 15th and 21st respectively. Nolan PR’s venturing under 18 minutes for just the second time in his career donating a 17:46. Wallace has missed over a month with nagging injuries but posted his second best time of the year entering the chute in 18:16. Another freshman Will Foltz was next in line scoring as the number five with a you got it a PR clocking in at 18:25. In all seven of the ten runners competing in the boys race posted PR’s .
Two others competing as alternates, senior Clayton Hausmann and sophomore Ben Hornaday posted new standards as well joining John Hegarty as varsity alternates. Hausmann (18:49) took 28th, erasing a minute and a half from his best and Hornaday (22:09) who has posted PR’s the past three weeks bested him by nearly a minute. James Boyd another senior PR’d in the open race with a 21:10 taking second. Thomas Brown was two spots back in fourth while Jacob Middleton took fifth.
Brynn Tabeling was a near miss for all league setting a season best effort with a 20:58 helping the girls in black and gold edge a strong St. Teresa squad for third. Sophomore Reggan Smith was next in the Lady Warriors three hole finishing inside the top twenty in 17th with a personal best 22:24. Just one place separated her and senior Hannah Hornaday who took 19th posting the Hornaday families’ second PR of the day clocking in at 22:29. The fifth and final scorer for coach Rosenbaum was Makenzie Herschberger in 27th with a season best 23:52.
Lauren Woods was the first alternate with a PR of 25:18. Skylar Wilkins was next up setting a PR with a 25:38 Mia Hausmann also PR’d with a 26:01 while Kenzi Heckler, and Kyla Gough posted SR’s. If you were counting, that’s six personal bests and four season best outings.
“That was a lot of fun, watching a whole bunch of us run their best times of the year, which means that all of the work we’ve put in this season is beginning to pay off,” stated the coach. “On the girls side, most people’s best times were by over a minute, which gives them a lot of confidence heading into a loaded Regional. Our Boys were hunting for a trophy, but we have to tip our hats to Shelbyville and St. T who ran great races. They all competed and gutted out all they had and were feeling like they were in a good spot heading towards the postseason.”