MAHOMET — Coach Neal Garrison's boys' cross-country team from Mahomet-Seymour placed 12th in last weekend's Peoria Notre Dame Invitational, but that doesn't reflect the team's prowess.
Counting the junior varsity and open races, 21 Bulldogs participated in the event, which attracts runners from three states. Nineteen ran their fastest times of the season, and 13 ran the quickest 3-mile times of their prep careers on a date that was five weeks before the start of the postseason series.
M-S' Lucas Prather, who posted a career best by six seconds, ran the fastest time by a Bulldog at the Notre Dame Invitational (15:21). It is the best 3-mile time by a runner from the school in more than a decade.
Prather's time was the fastest by a senior at the meet. Teammate Jonathan Schaap ran the fastest time by an M-S junior at the meet (15:39), and another Bulldog, Forrest Smoes, posted the quickest time by an M-S sophomore at the meet (15:58). Schaap and Smoes each ran career bests by eight seconds.
M-S was ranked 12th last week in the Class 2A state rankings and beat teams ranked fourth (Normal U-High), ninth (Springfield) and 11th (Peoria Notre Dame) at the Notre Dame Invitational.
St. Joseph-Ogden's Zeke Elkins and Prather, each timed in 15:21, had the top area finishes in the one-class meet, placing 43rd and 44th, respectively.
The performance last weekend, which featured a 50-second split between the top five runners, moved the school into the No. 4 position in this week's state rankings, compiled by dyestat.com.
Wakefield headed to Hall
TUSCOLA — Fred Wakefield, a 1996 Tuscola High School graduate who played football at the University of Illinois and in the NFL, will serve as grand marshal of the Warriors' homecoming parade Friday. It will begin at 2:45 p.m., followed by an alumni reception at 4 p.m.
At a noon luncheon Saturday, Wakefield will be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. He is the lone inductee in the Class of 2011.
The 6-foot-7 Wakefield played in 80 NFL games, covering parts of six seasons, making his debut in 2001 with Arizona. Most of his career was as a lineman, though he played tight end in 2006 and had two receptions for Arizona.
Tuscola's homecoming game, at 7 p.m. Friday, is against Warrensburg-Latham.
Bulldog to become a Cobra
MAHOMET — Emma Cabutti, an All-Area first-team volleyball player as a junior, gave an oral commitment to Parkland College. A two-sport athlete, she decided to focus on volleyball rather than track and field, a sport where she has earned state medals on relays as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
"I picked Parkland because they have an excellent volleyball program, and the coaches are amazing," Cabutti said. "I chose volleyball over track because I actually have a passion for the game. I enjoy myself more when I'm playing as opposed to running."
An outside hitter, Cabutti is the M-S leader in kills.
Tennis tournament named in honor of late Central star
CHAMPAIGN — The Keegan Bannon Memorial Open tennis tournament has been scheduled for Dec. 9-11 at Urbana's Atkins Tennis Center. It is named in memory of the former Champaign Central player who qualified for state in singles as a junior in 2009 and died in February of his senior year, 2010.
This is a USTA-sanctioned junior singles tournament for girls and boys who have competitive experience. The tournament features three age divisions: 16 and under, 14 and under, and 12 and under. Juniors from around the USTA Midwest Section compete in tournaments like this one to improve their USTA tournament ranking. To sign up for the Keegan Bannon Memorial Open, log onto http://www.usta.com/tennislink, click on 'Tournaments' and enter the tournament name. Entries close Dec. 6, and the entry fee is $41.35 per person.