CHILLICOTHE — The meet was not IHSA-sanctioned, but coach Lyle Dorjahn’s Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond boys’ cross-country athletes treated Friday’s result like they would an official state meet.
The Knights — competing under the non-school banner of 4 City Striders — posted a small-school runner-up finish behind senior Layton Hall’s top-five time at Three Sisters Park. It marked round one of the three-day event put on by ShaZam Racing and MileSplit Illinois after the IHSA canceled its state meet because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Are we disappointed that we didn’t win? Well, yeah, and that’s a good thing,” said Dorjahn, whose group collected 102 points to the 90 of Harvest Christian Academy’s Elgin Holy Cow Athletics unit. “My guys ran their tails off and lost by 12 points to a good team. We’re excited to be second in the state.”
Hall capped his prep cross-country career by placing fifth in a 5-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 58.89 seconds. His clocking was second-best locally, trailing only Paxton-Buckley-Loda junior Ryder James (fourth, 15:50.36). Sophomore Logan Beckmier (26th, 17:04.66), junior Jace Green (34th, 17:13.53), sophomore Lyle Adcock (40th, 17:24.35) and sophomore Jacob Adcock (46th, 17:27.25) rounded out ALAH’s top five.
“I told the MileSplit guys, ‘Two years ago we were lucky to put five guys on the starting line,’” Dorjahn said, “and look where we’re at now.”
In other boys’ results, St. Joseph-Ogden’s club, SJOXC, took seventh in the 19-team hunt behind senior Brandon Mattsey (33rd, 17:13.25) and freshman Carson Maroon (43rd, 17:25.79). Monticello’s squad, Pacers, nabbed 13th as juniors Jackson Grambart (31st, 17:12.00) and Ed Mitchell (39th, 17:21.82) led the charge. Unity’s outfit, Iron Rockets, landed 17th and acquired a top time from senior Ben Gavel (92nd, 18:14.44).
Individually, Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin junior Eli Mojonnier (18th, 16:47.89) and Iroquois West senior Connor Price (57th, 17:39.79) were best locally behind PBL’s James.
Monticello sophomore Mabry Bruhn and Uni High sophomore Kate Ahmari paced the local girls at Friday’s race.
Bruhn claimed third place in 18:21.66, while Ahmari crossed the finish line in sixth via a time of 19:02.48. BHRA freshman Gabriella Moreman (10th, 19:14.87), Monticello sophomore Estella Miller (12th, 19:27.03) and Judah Christian freshman Aleigha Garrison (14th, 19:50.21) also cracked the top 15.
St. Joseph-Ogden’s girls’ team, SJOXC, notched fifth out off 19 clubs to lead the area. The Spartans’ top performance came from junior Ava Knap (36th, 20:41.35).