Despite taking a little more circuitous route than the other runners, Massac County’s Ansley Bailey finished almost two full minutes ahead of the rest of the field in last Thursday’s SIRR Conference Ohio division cross country meet.
With no one close to her and nothing to follow, Bailey missed a painted line around the two mile mark and ended up having to backtrack a bit. The IHSA official on hand decided her time of 18:39 would count and the conference title was hers.
Bailey’s time was 1:53 ahead of Benton’s Mia Wills. Benton took the team title with five runners in the top ten. Second place Murphysboro placed three girls in the top 10. Massac freshman Gracie Turner finished 14th in the field with a time of 23:37 and sophomore teammate Grace Willis ran 23:49 which got her in the top 20 at 17th place. Yolina Lindquist ran a 25:23, freshman Lakin Marcus ran 25:57, sophomore Victoria Swafford ran 26:07 and Melina Rodriguez finished in 26:11. The girls are slated to run in the Class A regionals Saturday morning at the Marissa Recreation Area in Marissa.
On the boys’ side of the Ohio Division meet, Benton dominated again as senior Reece Johnson and freshman Gavin Genisio ran in tandem until the final mile or so, where Johnson shifted to another gear and finished 19 seconds ahead of his teammate. Johnson recorded a time of 16:25 and his teammates took care of the rest.
Benton runners took five of the top six places in the big win. Massac County’s top finisher was senior Emilio Bautista who ran 20:24 which was good for 23rd place in the field. Freshman Dylan Jaco and sophomore Andrew Brookshier cracked the top 30 with times of 20:57 and 21:04 respectively. Senior Jody Dumpprope got in another “pre-football” workout with a time of 21:37.
The boys are also scheduled to run Saturday at Marissa in the Class A regionals.