Individual girls advancing at the Class 1A Effingham St. Anthony sectional included Gabrielle Spain (19:09) and Ailey Mitchell (19:19), both from Shelbyville, and Cumberland’s Jasmyn Dittamore (19:46).
Monticello finished first in the both the boys and girls team competitions at the St. Anthony Sectional. The Robinson boys also advanced as a team with a fifth-place finish.
Boys advancing as individuals at St. Anthony included Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond’s Layton Hall (16:10), Flora’s Isaac Stanford (16:27), St. Anthony’s Brian Dust (16:44) and Cumberland’s Michael Carpenter (16:58).
Olney’s Tatum David posts state’s fastest time
Remember the name Tatum David because it is going to start appearing everywhere.
David, a freshman cross country runner for Olney Richland County, won the Class 2A Decatur (MacArthur) Sectional on Saturday at Hickory Point Golf Course. Her time of 16:33 was 2:02 faster than sectional’s second-place finisher, Colleen Zeibert from Rochester, and overall, her time as the fastest recorded at a sectional in Illinois in all classes Saturday.
“I wasn’t really shooting for a time today, I was just trying to get to the next level,” David said. “I don’t really know what state will be like. I’m a little bit nervous about it.”
David will be making her competition nervous next Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. For each race, David attacks the course with a plan in mind from the get-go.
“That’s one thing we have seen all season. She always has a strategy and every race she gets out very hard at the beginning and pulls away from the pack,” Olney girls track coach Denyse Eagleson said. “She’s very mentally tough and that’s one thing we have talked about all season. She needs to push herself through these races.”
The wet and soggy Hickory Point course didn’t cause much of a problem for David.
“I knew I was going to start out fast because I always start out fast. I was going to see if I could back off a little bit, which I did a little bit,” she said. “I felt really good all race.”
Next week will give David her biggest challenge so far this season.
“I think (Tatum) will work on getting out hard and I think it will be different in that she might not be able to put as much space early on as she has had throughout the season,” Eagleson said. “It will be interesting to see what happens.”
Mount Zion girls advance
For the second consecutive season, the Mount Zion girls cross country team advanced to the state competition as a team. Led by sophomore Emma Mallory (19:15), the Braves finished third as a team at the 2A MacArthur sectional.
“Last Saturday we had to deal with rain and today was slippery conditions and they battled through it. Overall, I’m pleased,” Mount Zion girls coach Kelly Fox said. “Of the seven runners, I had five that had really good days and ran well today. That’s why we have a team.”
Mallory learned a lot from her state experience last year as a freshman and is using it to her advantage now.
“I was a little nervous in the beginning today but as the race got going I knew I had to push through for the team. This year I feel a lot more confident with the bigger races,” she said.
Others advancing to state
Clinton’s Payne Turney advanced to state at the Class 1A Elmwood sectional with a time of 18:21.
On the boys side of the 2A MacArthur sectional, Taylorville’s Chris Cherry advanced as an individual with a time of 15:28. Olney’s Gavin Kirby also advanced to state (15:28.)
Advancing to state on the girls side at the 2A MacArthur section were Mattoon’s Kylie Haack (19:19) and Charleston’s Grace Spoonhour (19:27)