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Former Centennial throwing standout Luke Vaughn last made our headlines in June 2018, when he won an NCAA championship in discus for the University of Memphis. Vaughn also recently competed in the United States Championships. He offered his thoughts on that, as well as his future in the throwing world:

A decade ago, Kylie McCulley was wrapping up a four-year volleyball career at the University of Illinois. Now, she’s preparing for her seventh season running Unity volleyball. The 2006 Clinton grad checks in:

Local cross-country kicks off Aug. 26 with a triangular meet at Clinton, also involving Sullivan. Here are 10 other meets to look out for in 2019 (not including any conference meets):

1. PRESEASON RUN AT PBL, Aug. 28 — This should offer a stiff test for anyone involved. Not so much because of the course, as Paxton-Buckley-Loda boasts a fairly flat landscape. But because it still should be summertime hot when kids toe the line. Host PBL claims returning All-Area first-teamer Ryder James.

2. SABER CORN CLASSIC, Aug. 31 — Another relatively flat course (this one on the campus of St. Thomas More), but another meet at a time when temperatures often haven’t gotten to fall levels just yet. Sabers rising senior Fran Hendrickson, the reigning All-Area girls’ Runner of the Year, should be the star of the show.

3. COW CHIP CLASSIC, Sept. 7 — An annual can’t-miss event at Chrisman, a whopping 18 local schools will be represented. Monticello’s boys, possibly paced by Luke Sokolowski, and Unity’s girls, potentially led by Caroline Bachert, will try to show the stuff that led the Sages and Rockets to area-best team state showings in 2018.

4. FIRST TO THE FINISH INVITATIONAL, Sept. 14 — This Peoria-based jaunt offers an early glance at Detweiller Park, which later in the year will play host to all three classes’ state tournaments. Likewise, it displays a mix of local small and big schools — from Uni High to Danville.

5. UNI HIGH POTLUCK MEET, Sept. 17 — Will there be a potluck meal provided after racing festivities? That’s not clear. But this is a chance for Champaign-Urbana folks to see the likes of Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond standout Layton Hall.

6. TUSCOLA CLASSIC, Sept. 21 — The 42nd version of this race will commence from Wimple Park and surely be worth a look, as Tuscola-hosted events tend to be. Clinton’s Payne Turney should be a contender for the girls’ crown.

7. GREAT PUMPKIN RUN, Sept. 24 — It may not be Halloween, but how can you pass up on the Arthur-based event with a name like that?

8. SPARTAN CLASSIC, Sept. 28 — St. Joseph-Ogden constantly churns out strong distance runners, so where better to see them than running through the streets of St. Joe?

9. OAKWOOD INVITATIONAL, Oct. 5 — A bit of a Vermilion Valley Conference preview gets a twist with the likes of Rantoul and St. Thomas More.

10. TWIN CITY INVITATIONAL, Oct. 8 — Run on the University of Illinois campus, fans can see the best and brightest that Champaign-Urbana has to offer

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

Prep Sports Coordinator

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).