Cross Country

Cross Country

Franklin gets test from Krasa for women's 5K title

CHAMPAIGN — Laura Krasa knew exactly who was in front of her as she turned into Memorial Stadium at Friday's Presence Health Illinois 5K.

"I saw her ahead of me, and I said, 'OK, I know that's Jessica (Franklin),'" Krasa said. "Anyone running around here knows her. She's one of the best runners in this area."

After 5-year wait, SJ-O product dominates men's 5K

CHAMPAIGN — As an eighth-grader at St. Joseph-Ogden Middle School in 2012, Brennan Guido knew he wouldn't be able to run the Presence Health Illinois 5K for another five years.

High school track season, after all, would get in the way.

Still, he set a plateau for the next time he ran the race.

UPDATED: Urbana must forfeit basketball games, cross-country plaque

The Illinois High School Association announced Monday two Urbana girls’ basketball players from one family are ineligible to take part in athletics until March 6, the Monday after the conclusion of the girls’ basketball season.

Video: Fall Postseason Highlights

Re-live St. Joseph-Ogden's run to the state championship, Mahomet-Seymour boys' cross country's historic state meet, Ema Rajic's record-breaking day and more of the area's biggest postseason highlights.

State final TV footage/commentary: Courtesy IHSA

Top 10 East Central Illinois sports moments of 2016

Let’s be clear: The Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series in 108 years was one of the top sports stories of 2016 — No. 1 on The Associated Press’ list. But what about memorable moments to come out of East Central Illinois in a calendar year that will close once the clock hits midnight Saturday? Here are our 10 selections:

M-S runners 17th at Nike Cross Nationals

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Mahomet-Seymour boys’ cross-country team was ready for the hills at Saturday’s Nike Cross Nationals race in Portland. The Bulldogs also were ready for the elite competition after winning the Class 2A state title.

What they couldn’t prepare for, coach Neal Garrison said, was the incredibly muddy course, which is intentionally made that way.

N-G All-Area Boys' Cross-Country: 2016 teams

All-Area first team

Brian Butcher    Sr.    Mahomet-Seymour

Riley Fortune    Jr.    Mahomet-Seymour

Logan Hall    Jr.    Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

All-Area Boys' XC Coach of the Year: M-S' Neal Garrison

Why he’s Coach of the Year: By qualifying for Saturday’s Nike Cross Nationals, Garrison’s Bulldogs cemented themselves as one of the top area teams in history. The Bulldogs finished with six all-staters and finished three seconds away from having all seven of their runners earn medals at the state meet.

Walmer, teammates benefit from big expectations

MAHOMET — It was a feeling Andrew Walmer never wanted to experience again.

The Mahomet-Seymour cross-country runner finished a spectacular race three years ago — his freshman year — at the state meet. It came seemingly out of nowhere, but his teammates around him were disappointed.

Bulldogs runners taking talents to Portland

MAHOMET — The fact his team had no confirmation last week that it would head to Portland, Ore., this weekend for Nike Cross Nationals didn’t matter. Mahomet-Seymour boys’ cross-country coach Neal Garrison didn’t want his team to put itself in a holding pattern after finishing third at the Midwest Regional, one spot away from an automatic berth.