Massac County's girls track team endured a gut-wrenching day last Thursday at the SIRR Conference track and field meet held at Benton Grade School.
A horrific crash on I-57 North near the West Frankfort exit left five people dead and piled up traffic for miles, causing nearly an hour delay to the start of the meet as Massac, A-J and Carterville all were in the standstill.
With that going on, no lights on the grade school field and threatening weather in the offing, the meet officials had to scramble to pull things together but they did.
Massac's girls had a good day despite the circumstances as they finished third on the Ohio side with several good individual performances.
The third place finish was the best Massac has mustered in about 10 years. First or second place finishers for Massac were: Graciela Beck, first discus; Ansley Bailey, first 400M; Dya Jackson, first long jump; and Claire Bremer, second discus.
Beck and Bailey also had second place finishes in the shot put and 800M run respectively.
Massac's 4x100 relay team [Jackson, Lexie Rudolph, Sydney Wilke and Kelis Adams] took a second and the 4x200 relay team of Jackson, Rudolph, Wilke and Jessie Lewis also took a second.
Jackson ran third in the 100M, Bailey ran third in the 200M, the 4x400 relay team [Danielle Campbell, Lewis, Adams and Bailey] took a third and Nickayly English finished third in the high jump.
Massac garnered two fourth place finishes with Lewis running fourth in the 3200M and the 4x800 relay team of Shaley Looney, Lauren Umberger, Yolinda Lindquist and Campbell took a fourth.
English finished fifth in the 100M dash and Looney ran fifth in the 1600M.
In the triple jump Sydney Wilke recorded a sixth place finish.
Putting things in perspective, though, was Massac County Coach Zach Miller, who told The Southern's Bucky Dent, "Honestly, your heart goes out. You're safe but you know someone's going through a really rough time. Our prayers go out to the people who didn't make it to their destinations."