The top pack of the boys race streams past the opening 1000 meters of the championship.
PEORIA- The second race of the day would not be as dramatic as the girls because of clear favorites: senior Gavin Genisio of Benton for the individual race and pre-season and current #1 Tuscola for the team title.
Right away, under favorable weather conditions, Genisio assumed the lead with rival Isaac Teel (Sr., Pinckneyville) and Tuscola seniors Jackson Barrett and Josiah Hortin. They hit the first mile in about 4:34, and shortly after that, it was a two-runner race between Genisio and Teel.
The defending champion Genisio had a few steps on Teel and appeared to hold his position with less than a mile in 9:27. Like clockwork, Genisio came home in 14:12, a full 12 seconds better than his personal best effort. Teel also dropped a massive PB in 14:29 for the runner-up spot.
Tuscola was the top team coming in and was billed as one of the best in Class A history until the midway point of the season. The Warriors are a strong unit but they do not have a lot of depth. One of their top runners, Blake McLeese (So.), did not run at sectionals because of an injury.
Inside the final mile, Tuscola held a shoestring lead that did not look good. Hortin had fallen off from Barrett, who took third in 14:40. Benton's Gabriel Mclain (So.) was behind Barrett in fourth with a time of 14:45. Will Foltz (Sr.) countered for Tuscola in sixth in 14:51. It was a battle between the fourth and fifth runners. Fortunately, the Warriors had enough juice to pull out the win as listed below.
|1||Tuscola||97||3+6+10+23+55 (108+173)||1:27 1-5 Split | 15:17 Avg|
|2||Benton||104||1+4+12+42+45 (66+79)||1:45 1-5 Split | 15:12 Avg|
|3||Elmwood||166||5+31+33+39+58 (115+151)||1:23 1-5 Split | 15:41 Avg|