By DYLAN SMITH, Sports Reporter
MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) – Golf and cross-country were the only high school sports teams to play in-season this fall as many other sports were delayed to the spring.
In September, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) made the decision to extend golf and cross-country postseason tournaments from regionals to sectionals. Golf’s postseason concluded two weeks ago, and cross-country’s just last Saturday, Oct. 31.
Several track and cross-country sponsors have come together to hold an unofficial state cross-country meet that will be spread across three different days (Nov. 6-8). Twenty teams and 30 individuals per division were invited to race, and given that it is not an IHSA event, all teams must race under a club name and receive no instruction from high-school coaches.
“We didn’t have a state meet, so this kind of makes up for it,” Randy Ames, Macomb High School cross-country coach, said. “I have been showing up doing temperature checks before they practice, but these kids know what they need to do.”
The Macomb High School boys cross-country team was extended an invitation and will race under the club name, “Jetwing.” Four seniors occupy the top four spots for Macomb and are scheduled to race on Friday, Nov. 6.
In order to provide the safest experience possible for the runners, each day’s race will be split into four flights. Friday’s race schedule is listed below.
Meet schedule each day (boys) :
Boys flight #1 (teams 6 & 7 runners) – 11:30 a.m.
Boys flight #2 (teams 4 & 5 runners) – 12 p.m.
Boys flight #3 (teams 3 & 2 runners) – 12:30 p.m.
Boys flight #4 (teams top runner & all individuals) – 1 p.m.
Unless some seniors move on to a collegiate level of running, this weekend will act as their final race.
“It feels great to see the four years of work paying off, especially at the end of our senior year,” Stan Melkumian, Macomb HIgh School senior, said. “Our mindset is to just have fun, enjoy it and run fast.”
Division 1 (class 1A) will race Friday, Nov. 6, division 2 (class 2A) on Saturday, Nov. 7, and division 3 (class 3A) on Sunday, Nov. 8 at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois.