JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
The Daily Union Fall Female Athlete of the Year was a sophomore solo act that performed on the biggest stage, advancing to the IHSA 1A Girls State Cross Country Meet, Molly Yockey of Shelbyville.
Molly Yockey ran most of the season without a full team and had to contend with repeat state champions from St. Teresa. However, Yockey stayed on pace and competed at state, besting her sectional time (19:28) by 10 seconds (19:18).
Yockey began the season winning the Ram home opener (20:09), which was just suppose to just be a training race for the Rams. Then at the Shelby Trail Invite, Yockey beat the field, winning again and getting a personal best on the course, cutting more than a minute off her time (18:58).
At Tuscola, Yockey placed 3rd overall (19:37) and earned the Top Sophomore Award. She cut 30 seconds off her previous time at Tuscola, and put her third in school history, just behind Ram legend Sarah Selby and current EIU runner Katelyn Duckett. At St. Joe, Yockey improved her time from last year by 23 seconds, finishing the 2-mile course in 12:05 (20th).
At Robinson, she placed 2nd against 127 runners (19:13).
At Sullivan, she won again (20:32). At the big Prairie Central Invite, Yockey ran a personal best time of 18:41, right behind an all-stater.
Yockey ran the OVC Meet against state-destined St. T and Monticello girls, but still claimed 11th place, good enough to earn all-conference honors (19:06), cutting 1:14 of her time the previous year.
At the Carlinville Regional, Yockey earned a medal, placing 15th, with her second best time ever (18:46), and advancing to sectional. At sectional she ran a 19:28, placing 18th, and punching her ticket for State.
At State, Yockey placed 78th out of 210 runners and clocked a time of 19:13.
Molly Yockey is the daughter of Jerry and Wendy Yockey of Shelbyville.