STM's Feeney doubles fun after day off; SJ-O sweeps titles
PAXTON – St. Thomas More's Cara Feeney found that the best way to prepare for the Sangamon Valley Conference track and field meet was to avoid running.
That's right, stay away from the track for a day.
When she did arrive for the meet, though, it looked like she never left.
Feeney won the 3,200-meter run in 11 minutes, 58.30 seconds, beating her nearest competitor by more than 20 seconds. The senior then won the 1,600 in 5:30.31, more than 19 seconds better than the second-place finisher.
"Cara had a rough night Friday at the St. Joe Spartan Classic," Sabers coach Dan Sheehan said. "She's got a lot of stress on her plate. We gave her Monday off. She didn't even come to practice.
"You saw a rejuvenated Cara today."
But Feeney, who according to Sheehan will be "attending a Division I school for cross-country and track" but would not elaborate, was not enough to stop St. Joseph-Ogden from winning the meet.
"We did have a lot of winning events, but we were one deep; we didn't have any field events."
The Sabers won five events while SJ-O won six, but the Spartans won the meet by 78 points.
Spartans coach Jerry Hewerdine said the weather was one of the key factors to his team's success.
"We had good weather; that was a tremendous difference," Hewerdine said. "We've been waiting on the athletes to perform a little better and the weather cooperated.
"Even though it was a little bit windy, it wasn't snowing or hailing."
St. Joseph-Ogden made the SVC meet a sweep with the boys edging out Momence and St. Thomas More.
Boys' coach Jon Jamison was just as complimentary of the weather: "(The weather) was a huge part. We haven't had a decent day yet."
Jamison noted another surprise in the form of Josh Dees.
"It was his first ever 800, first open. He ran the (3,200 relay) last Friday on a whim and he ran a 2:01 split and showed interest in it."
Dees finished as the SVC 800 champion with a time of 2:00.11.
Quite an accomplishment for a newbie.
Dees' inexperience showed in his feet.
"For the team, it's huge. We had to pull him for the rest of the meet because he had blisters, but it shows he's got range."