Course opens at 9 a.m
Girls’ race starts at 11 a.m.
Boys’ race starts at 11:45 a.m.
INA, Ill. - Runners from across the state will converge on Rend Lake College tomorrow for the Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association “Class S” Boys and Girls Cross Country Championships.
“We are excited to be hosting the Class S State cross country championships for the second year,” said RLC Vice President of Finance and Administration Larry West, who oversees all 16 athletic teams at the college. “It’s a real joy to welcome these young athletes and their families onto our campus.”
Last Saturday at the Rend Lake Warrior Classic, 41 Class S and L teams from throughout the Southern Illinois region raced. More than 685 runners competed in all four races combined.
RLC will host 38 Class S teams tomorrow as 182 boys and 154 girls are entered to run.
Going by results from the Warrior Classic; Favorites in the girls race are Emily Wade of Selmaville, Payton Blakney from St. Joe Olney and Allie Hood of Selmaville, who finished second (7:45.04), fifth (7:54.95) and seventh (8:00.36), respectively, among Class S and L runners.
Team favorites in the girls’ race appear to be Selmaville, St. Joe Olney and Wayne City, in that order. Boys’ favorites are Raccoon, Summersville and Central City, speculating from Warrior Classic results.
For the boys, favorites coming out of the Warrior Classic are Clifford Hostetler of New Hebron who came in second (12:25.68), Collen Wesling of Central City who finished third (12:31.85) and Jordan Wilemon of Rome who came in fifth (12:33.55).
The state championship course is identical to the Warrior Classic course.
“The Warrior Classic is a preview of the state course and teams like to come and run it so they have an idea of the layout,” said state championship race coordinator Brent McLain, the director of athletics at RLC. “The purpose of that meet is for them to preview the course. They just want to come and run at the state meet. They don’t want the kids to have to think about where to go or which way to turn.
“The course we have at Rend Lake College, in my opinion, is the most spectator-friendly course,” McLain added. “I feel when a parent can come out and watch their son or daughter for the entire race is a great benefit to have for a state competition.”