CHANNAHON – Minooka hosted the most unique cross country meet in the area Saturday at Community Park. It’s their annual Flight Meet in which each runner has an opportunity to win their race, as each team’s seventh runner competes in a race, then the sixth, all the way down to the first runner, which is deemed as the Championship Flight. In addition, all seven runners count toward the team score, unlike a regular meet when only the top five runners count.
With each flight, the boys and girls start each race together, which never happens in a regular race.
Fourteen girls’ teams participated with Lyons Township winning the team title. Minooka had three of the seven flight winners and were in contention for the team title until the championship flight, as the Minooka runner didn’t finish because of the heat.
The Indians’ Cassie Fuhrman won the sixth flight covering the three-mile course in 19:14.
“I love this race,” Fuhrman said. “I also think it’s great that we get to start with the boys, and that also makes it a challenge. It hasn’t been the best season for me up to now, but this race gives me a lot of confidence moving forward, and I’m excited for next week.”
Audrey Boles led the way for Minooka winning the fourth flight in 18:41 and was excited after the race.
“I love this format, and it was so cool to be in the lead of a race,” Boles said. “I felt really good today, and being in the lead really give you confidence that you can run up front in any race.”
The third winner for the Indians came in the second flight as Gabby McCollum ran 18:19 for the victory.
Minnoka’s Kathryn Cichon placed third (20:16) in flight five.
Plainfield North had two runner-up finishes as Claire Wilson ran 19:45 in flight three and Aminah Hussain in flight five ran 19:51. They also had a third in flight two as Michelle Masis ran 19:27.
Lyons Township also won the boy’s race by one point over Waubonsie Valley in the 17-team race, as Plainfield North had the best showing among local teams.
The area’s top finish came in the Championship Flight as Plainfield North junior Oliver Burns out-leaned Charlie McLawhorn of Lyons at the finish line, as both runners clocked a time of 15:12. Lincoln-Way Central’s Caden Simone was third in 15:20.
“Before the race I was really nervous,” Burns said. “I knew it would be some great tough competition, but once that gun went off, the nerves calmed down and it was racing. I was really pushing the first two miles and there was a nice group of us moving together, then with about 300 meters left he [McLawhorn] passed me, and I found just enough right before the finish to get him at the line.
“This race gives me so much confidence moving forward and it shows that I can run with anyone in the state. I had a lead, but I came back and that is important.”
The Tigers also had a runner-up finish in flight seven from Josh Bedford (16:44) and Cooper Shelton in flight two (15:45) and Chris Suarez in flight five (16:18) finished third.
- Jeff DeGraw
Late Friday results
Plainfield Central 37, Minooka 36: Two touchdowns were scored in the game’s final minute, one by each team, the final TD lifted the Wildcats to a huge Southwest Prairie Conference victory.
Aaron Larkins posted 230 yards of total offense with a trio of touchdowns for Plainfield Central( 3-1).
Lincoln-Way West 16, Bradley-Bourbonnais 14: A late third quarter field goal made the difference for the Warriors.
Jason Harris had five receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Lincoln-Way Central 24, Stagg 19: The Knights got back to the .500 mark with the narrow win in SouthWest Suburban Conference matchup.
Yorkville 27, Plainfield East 6: The Bengals had five turnovers as they fell to 1-3.
Michael Morgan had five receptions for 110 yards and the lone touchdown for Plainfield East.
Oakwood 30, Dwight 22: The Trojans (0-4) fell just short in a Vermilion Valley crossover game after a two-week delay because of COVID issues.
Lincoln-Way West wins Oak Lawn Invitational: Lincoln-Way West powered through four opponents in the Oak Lawn Invitational on Saturday.
The Griffins defeated Rich Township, 25-11, 25-27, 15-13, Evergreen Park, 25-15, 25-13, Richards, 25-18, 25-21, and Providence, 16-25, 25-21, 15-13.
Also in Oak Lawn, Lincoln-Way Central had two wins and one loss,. The Knights defeated Providence, 25-22, 25-22, and Shepard, 25-16, 26-24, and lost to De La Salle, 25-13, 25-18.
McAuley Preview: At Chicago, Lockport went 3-0 in the Bronze Division.
The Porters defeated Downers Grove South, 26-24, 24-26, 25-18, McAuley’s JV team, 25-16, 25-19, and York, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23.
Oswego East 2, Lincoln-Way West 0: At Plainfield, the Wolves picked up a win at the Plainfield North Classic by shutting out the Warriors.
Warrior College Event Meet: At New Lenox, Lincoln-Way West took first place at the six-team tournament with a score of 424.5 to defeat Joliet (371), U-High (308), Andrew (226), Lemont (194) and Homewood-Flossmoor (181.5).
Olivia Gonda, Bella Cichon and Emma Stiglic led the way for the Warriors with wins in diving, the 200 breaststroke and the 200 butterfly, respectively.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Minooka Flight Invitational: At Minooka, Lincoln-Way Central finished 11th out of 17 teams at Channahon Park.
Caden Simone placed third in the championship flight to lead the Knights, Andrew Flais took eighth in the fourth flight and Devlin Smith finished ninth in the sixth flight.