MAHOMET – When it comes to athletics, injuries often come with the territory.
Mahomet-Seymour senior cross-country runner Amy Clawson understands this all too well. Last fall, Clawson was chosen The News-Gazette Girls' Cross- Country Runner of the Year after finishing sixth in the Class 2A state meet.
PAXTON – Tom Pacey and Brice Dodds were the top two runners in Saturday's 90-person boys' division of the Paxton-Buckley-Loda cross-country invitational.
Two years ago, they were hardly even in the same area code at the meets.
CHAMPAIGN – At the lowest point in his recuperation from a troublesome knee injury, during the sunless days of February, Champaign Central senior Patrick Mazzocco wondered if he'd ever again have the chance to run.
And running is what Mazzocco loves to do most.
URBANA – Knowing he was going to be an integral part of the Urbana University High cross-country team this summer, Nathan Smith knew he was going to have to hit the pavement and log some serious miles prior to the season.
"I did some considerable miles over the summer," the junior said. "I realized we were going to have a pretty good team this year so I decided to do my part and get the work done I needed to for the team."
CHRISMAN – Except for a few hours on an early-September morning one Saturday a year, the parcel of land located just outside the west side of the Chrisman school district boundary is a cow pasture.
Its four-legged inhabitants, which number about three dozen, conduct their business there daily and are oblivious to the few two-legged intruders who pass by.
PEORIA – John Overstreet already was plenty pleased immediately after the race.
With two all-staters in the Class 1A boys' cross-country state meet Saturday, his team had left its mark at Detweiller Park.
PEORIA – Before Michelle Mehnert took a trip to Detweiller Park, the Urbana University High runner made a visit to the Internet.
And just in case Mehnert wasn't motivated enough entering her final IHSA cross-country state meet Saturday, a certain Web site provided one final push.
PAXTON – With five freshmen among his top seven runners, St. Joseph-Ogden girls' cross-country coach Jon Jamison has learned "there's always some uncertainty."
And with good reason.
PAXTON – John Overstreet's goal was "to get to state."
The Paxton-Buckley-Loda cross-country coach recognized the challenge awaiting his Panthers in Saturday's Class 1A boys' cross-country sectional.
EAST PEORIA – Count the Mahomet-Seymour girls' cross-country team as fans of an expanded IHSA postseason.
After years of butting heads with far bigger schools in a two-class system, the Bulldogs finally are going head-to-head with rivals in their enrollment range.