The Normal Community boys cross country team won the Big 12 Conference on Saturday, October 18th in a repeat of last year. The girls team also performed well, placing 2nd. They competed at Detweiller park in Peoria. Other teams at the race included Bloomington, Normal West, Danville, Champaign Central, Champaign Centennial, Urbana, Peoria Central, Peoria Richwoods, Peoria Manual, and Peoria Notre Dame.
The varsity races are run by seven athletes from each team, with the top five runners placing affects the total team score. The times of the winning NCHS varsity boys were: Jared Peters, 15:29 – 3rd place; Carson McCormick, 15:34 – 4th place; Austin Peters, 15:47 – 6th place; Mitch Turner, 16:34 – 21st place; Ben Lawrence, 16:37 – 23rd place; Lucas Lasher, 17:13 – 43rd place; and Zach Kosinski, 17:20 – 44th place.
“We all performed impressively, and hopefully this race will lead to larger drops in time,” said Mitch Turner (11). Also worth noting is John Mazza, a freshman, who won the junior varsity race with a time of 17:03.
The times of the 2nd place varsity girls were: Danielle Beckstead , 17:57 – 2nd place; Rachel Zimmerman, 18:53 – 6th place; Muriel Bean, 19:04 – 10th place; Hannah Penn, 19:20 – 13th place; Violette Girard ,20:06 – 18th place; Hope Metz, 20:13 – 21st place; and Kristina Furler, 20:26 – 24th place.
In preparation for the meet, the team began to rest up and get ready for the higher level competition. Coach Tom Patton explains, “We view the conference meet as the start of the post-season, so we started to back off of our mileage and intensity just a bit .We saw ahead of time that the weather would be good for racing, and being on the state meet course at Detweiller meant we could run good times.” “We view the conference meet as the start of the post-season, so we started to back off of our mileage and intensity just a bit.”
“We went to State last year, and we hope to do the same this year. Everyone has been running well, so fingers crossed,” adds Turner.