Date: Saturday, November 2nd
Location: Maxwell Park; Normal, IL
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The boy's individual side seems to really be a race for second place after Sam Lange of Morton. Lange has been on fire all year long with only two losses on the year- both against Charlie Wetzel of Normal Community West. Wilson Georges of Limestone came down with a case of pneumonia just before his conference meet several weeks ago. Coach Glaza opted to sit him out which may be smart in the long run. While he is definitely capable of doing some amazing things still, he just still won't be his full self come this weekend. Adam Gilbreath-Glaub of Metamora has been on fire as of late and could shock a lot of people here. He just won his home regional with a 15:04 for 2.94 miles.
Metamora had a great showing at regionals with a 30 point win over Bloomington at the Metamora regional. With four guys being capable of running sub 16:00 that always makes for a tough 2A team. Especially with two guys under/at 15:20. The only thing that can be the downfall for the Redbirds is their 5th runner Aaron Kolbnak who holds a PR of 16:28. With him being farther back it could hurt them against a team that is more pack running driven. Morton was able to beat Metamora at the smaller conference meet in a field of 7 teams and with it being an 18 team field the Potters might be better off due to having Lange being basically the lock for first. Another team capable of four being able to go sub 16:00 and having a 5th runner at 16:14. Morton is definitely the team to be watching here. Then watch for Bloomington, Limestone, Peoria Notre Dame, Urbana, Normal University, and Mahomet-Seymour to be battling it out for those final three positions.
The girl's race will be a little more interesting than the guy's side with there being no clear favorite in the field. Emma Skinner of Morton has the fastest time in the field with her 17:05 performance at the Mid-Illini Conference Meet, torching up the scene at the famous Detweiller Park. This season hasn't been the best though for the Potters girl superstar. Having struggles breaking 18:30 for the early part of the season, the month of October has really been her breakout month. She is coming off a strong win at the Peoria Notre Dame Regional, winning in 18:59.70 for 5K. Olivia Rosenstein of Urbana is undefeated against Skinner this year beating her at the Peoria Invite. Rosenstein has been one of those girls that have just been consistent all year long after losing her entire junior xc season to injury. She is coming off an easy win at the Metamora Regional running at 17:47. Saniya Mathew of Dunlap may also sneak her way to the front as she continues to put together an amazing freshman campaign.
The Eagles of Dunlap are the team to watch for as they are a team that relies on their front runner Mathew heavily but also has a very strong back half pack. The key for the Eagles if they wish to take home yet another sectional title is keeping their 3-5 within 15 seconds. If they can do that and get those three girls as close to 19:00 as possible then it could spell out trouble for the rest of the field. PND destroyed Dunlap at the PND Regional with scores of 36 to 96, but that was without Mathew. PND will be fighting for the 2nd place finish as they just don't have the 5th runner to beat Dunlap at this moment. With the 5th girl running 19:46 that will be an issue that the Irish have to address these upcoming two weekends. Watch for Bloomington, Urbana, Washington, Mahomet-Seymour, and Morton to battle it out for the final three positions.