Rebels sweep first home meet

Peoria group planning to put on modified XC state final\

By Jeff Lampe

New courses figured heavily in the cross country news this past week.

First came a historic home meet for Stark County’s high school program, which swept to wins in the boys and girls races on its new course on Aug. 26. Due to temperatures in the 90s, race time was moved back two hours and the distance was shortened from 2.75 miles to 2.08 miles.

None of that mattered to the Rebels, as the girls nipped Annawan-Wethersfield, 27-29, and the boys topped A-W, 22-35.

Prairie News photo/Collin Fairfield

The Stark County cross country team swept to boys and girls wins on Aug. 26 in the first home races for the program in school history.

While A-W’s Kennady Anderson was the girls winner in 14:32, Stark County packed its top five in the top eight spots. Leading the Rebels was Lena Becker (3rd in 15:44). She was followed by Alyssa Dyken (4th, 16:20), Paige Rewerts (5th, 16:27), Riley Menssen (7th, 17:23) and Trinity Shimmin (8th, 17:54).

A-W sophomore Coy McKibbon was the boys winner in 13:01 but was followed closely by Rebels runner Caden Daum (2nd, 13:06). The other scorers for Stark County were Alex Welch (3rd, 13:25), Payton Stahl (4th, 13:31), Brett Browning (6th, 14:37) and Colby Carroll (7th, 14:38).

In other news, ShaZam Racing of Peoria has announced plans to hold the 2020 XC Championships for grade school and high school cross country runners this fall. Those races are not possible under current guidelines stipulated by the Illinois High School Association and IESA.

According to Adam White, owner of ShaZam Racing and RC Outfitters in Peoria, races would be held at Three Sisters Park near Chillicothe. Dates are Oct. 31 (junior high), Nov. 1 (Division 1, in essence Class 1A), Nov. 7 (Division 2, Class 2A) and Nov. 8 (Division 3, Class 3A). Girls would race in the morning, boys in the afternoon.

White said participants will run for club teams with no official affiliation to a school program. But each club must consist of runners from the same school. White said if current sports guidelines remain in place this fall, the races will happen.

He said the grade school race would be for all schools combined in one division, with up to 20 teams and 30 individuals.

The same formula would be used for high school boys and girls: up to 20 teams and 30 individuals per division, invited by organizers. ShaZam Racing and the MileSplit Illinois website handle the election committee.

Races would be flighted, with the No. 1 runners from each team competing in the first race against the 30 individuals invited. A second race would involve No. 2-3 runners from each team. Flight three would feature No. 4-5 runners from each squad. The last race would be for a team’s No. 6-7 runners.

“Three Sisters gives us plenty of acreage for a course that doesn’t have to overloop on itself,” White said.

Teams will be invited “based upon their 2020 body of work, but not limited to the fall 2020 body of work,” White said.

“We understand there are schools and individuals who have not even been given the opportunity to race,” he said. “We’re just excited to be in a position to be able to do something for the kids.”