These 8 ALAH jr. high track athletes left Friday, May 19 to compete at the IESA Track and Field Class 3A and 4A State Meet. Before getting back on the bus after a stop in LeRoy they posed for this picture. From left to right, Brennon Hutson, Owen Herring, Cooper Shoemaker, Max Boddy, Tyler Lisanby, Mason Thomas, Beau Green, and Cassidy Rohacs. The athletes competed in thier events and represented their school and communities very well.
By SALLY McCARTHY
On Friday, May 19, eight jr. high track and field athletes, 7 boys and 1 girl, left for East Peoria’s Eastside Centre, site of the IESA Class 3A State Track and Field Meet.
Very different from past years, the weather for both days was very pleasant except for a very brief sprinkle as the team arrived at the facility on Friday.
Up first for the Jr. High Knights was Cassidy Rohacs competing in the eighth grade girls 100 meter hurdles. She started out well but misfortune that even world class hurdlers face, she clipped a hurdle and fell. To her credit, she got up and finished the race. Although it was not the result anyone wanted, she handled it well and the competition in front of a very large crowd and with larger schools will help her in her future as a high school hurdler and track and field athlete.
Next up for ALAH was Beau Green, who in the IESA Sectional the week before had thrilled everyone with his victory in the 1600 meter run in his personal best time of 5:15.45 was one of two sixth graders in the state race. Beau ran a time of 5:16.70 in the race and gained valuable experience for his two more years of jr. high track competition. Beau’s race was the last of the Knights’ events for Friday.
Saturday, May 20 would bring the last two events for the local jr. high team as the eighth grade boys competed in two relays, the 4 X 200 meters and the 4 X 400 meters. As the team arrived the eighth grade boys, Owen Herring, Tyler Lisanby, Brennon Hutson, Mason Thomas and Max Boddy took to the track to get in warm ups in while Cooper Shoemaker, Beau Green and Cassidy Rohacs represented ALAH in the Parade of Competitors which consists of athletes competing in both Class 3A and 4A marching around the track, the National Anthem which was sung by a Mattoon jr. high student, Parker Spear and the Competitors’ Oath given by two athletes from participating schools.
The competition on Saturday was just as tough as Friday’s had been. The 4 X 200 meter relay team of Owen Herring, Tyler Lisanby, Brennon Hutson and Max Boddy ran a time of 1:45.03 and the 4 X 400 meter relay of Herring, Hutson, Mason Thomas, and Boddy ran 4:04.62. Yet again while the Knights performances didn’t match their seasons’ best, they also gained valuable experience competing at the state level, with athletes from larger schools and in front of a very large crowd. This experience will prove valuable to the eighth grade athletes who continue their track and field careers in high school.
The JH State meet provided the ALAH athletes the chance to go up against the best in the State in Class 3A.
The Jr. High state qualifiers would like to thank their Coaches Don McCarthy, Bryton Ragon and Mike Haste for all their hard work this season. A special shout out to Coach Haste for being a great bus driver to State and getting us out of the long line of buses waiting to pick up athletes on Friday!!!
The Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond jr. high track and field teams all had success this season and look forward to continuing that in Jr. High or High School next year!