Boys finish 2nd at cross country sectional


The boys finished second at the IHSA sectional on Oct. 31, which would qualify them for the state meet in a typical year. The IHSA is not hosting a state meet this year because of COVID-19

Jalen Myers, Sports Media class

Minooka took a tough sectional loss to Yorkville on Oct. 31 by a 12-point deficit at the IHSA 3A Sectional meet in Normal. 

“Yorkville is a team that many think would win a trophy on state level,” head coach Kevin Gummerson said.  “We closed the gap on them, and I saw something in this team that I was really proud of.”

The team’s second-place result was led by senior Vincent Van Eck finishing in 6th place with a time of 15:49. The team’s second and third runners, Daniel Schalk and Zack Balzer, trailed closely to end the race in 8th and 11th places, respectively, all within 9 seconds of each other. Despite having an impressive three runners in the top 11, it was not enough to outscore Yorkville’s team who had four of their seven runners in the top 10. 

Not long after the first bulk of runners from Minooka and Yorkville finished the race, Minooka’s Jake Manning crossed the line in 22nd place with Alex Forster following to place 36th, which put the team back in first place contention.

Just 20 seconds later Yorkville ended the race with back-to-back runners coming in at 44th and 45th place and just six seconds ahead of Minooka runners Adam Shaw (52nd), and Emerson Faymen (53rd) who also came in after one another. 

“To put three in the top 11 overall at a sectional is an impressive feat,” Gummerson said.

He also mentioned Forster and Manning’s impressive races.

Gummerson reflected on his team. “They fought like crazy and gave a maximum effort. We did not leave any points out there,” he said.

Balzer was satisfied with his race.

“Yeah, the only thing that could’ve gone better was getting out faster on the first mile,” he said.

His teammate Schalk felt similarly when asked about his performance.

“I was very satisfied with my race,”Schalk said.  “I had a very poor showing in our regional meet, and was looking for a good bounce-back race.”

The IHSA Sectional meet ended the 2020 cross country season due to COVID-19 restrictions. There will not be an IHSA state meet this year. It was the culmination of strong senior seasons from Van Eck, Shaw, and Manning. The team’s performance would have secured their spot in the state meet under normal circumstances.