John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — The Shelbyville boys banner waver, Ryan Skowronski, did the Rams proud at the IESA 2A State Cross Country meet last Saturday, taking 5th. The Shelby girls team competed and finished 17th as a team.
Skowronski led the Shelby boys team all season, so Saturday was no different. He was among the front of the pack at State as well, placing 5th, just 24 seconds behind the state champ.
Skowronski ran a time of 10:58, the best time in school history at the Maxwell Park course.
At the Shelbyville Sectional, Skowronski finished behind a runner from Rochester and a runner from Carlinville. The Rochester runner finished 2nd at State, but Skowronski beat the Carlinville runner (25th) by 13 seconds. Skowronski nipped a Rockton runner at state by a second in a tight finish to take 5th.
Skowronski earned all-state honors for his 5th place finish.
The Lady Rams were competing at State, as a team, for the 5th straight season. They finished 17th out of 25 teams (493 points).
"Some of the girls ran personal bests at State," said Ram coach Jason Palmer. "They had a great season."
They were led by 8th grader Chloe Spain. Spain finished in 98th place (team 76th) in 13:13.
Ailey Mitchell followed in 109th (team 85th) in 13:21 and Emma White in 122nd (team 91st) in 13:29. Lauren Bowers finished in 140th (team 103) in 13:38. The fifth Ram scorer was Elizabeth Bowyer, who finished in 177th (team 138th) in 14:02.
The Lady Ram sixth runner, Paige Coleman, though not a scorer, played a role in the team's placing 17th of 18th. Coleman ran 14:11 and placed 186th (team 147th). She beat the Rockford Christian 6th runner and broke the tie with Rockford Christian, which had to settle for 18th place.
Jordyn Bernson rounded out the Ram runners at State running 14:16 and placing 193rd (team 154th).
There was a total of 214 runners in the girls state meet.
"I'm looking forward to see how well the 8th graders do next year, giving the high school girls a full team," Coach Palmer said.
The 8th graders are Chloe Spain, Lauren Bowers, Emma White, and Emmalee Storm. Three of the four 8th graders were three of the four top Lady Rams at State, but Palmer had four other underclassmen that ran at state last Saturday.
"We have a great nucleus to build around next year," Palmer said.
Returners are Ailey Mitchell, Elizabeth Bowyer, Paige Coleman, Jordyn Bernson, and Carolyn Nohren.
The rest of the boys team expects to be returning.
"We had a very young boys team this year," Coach Palmer said. "We will be working to get back to state."
Palmer appreciated the fan support again this season.
"I want to thank all the parents and the community for their support this season," Coach Palmer said.