By PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
A pair of runners will represent Jefferson County at the cross country state finals on Saturday.
Both Mt. Vernon’s David Modert and Webber’s Mallory Bergbower advanced after qualifying at Saturday’s sectionals. Modert finished 10th in the 2A race in Decatur in a time of 15:45. He’s the first state finalist for the Rams since Campbell Walters in 2008.
“He’s prepared, and he’s got the ability to go up (to the state final) and run really well, and that’s kind of been one of his goals I think,” Mt. Vernon coach Clint Turner said.
Bergbower placed 10th in the 1A girls race at Edwardsville. She finished in a time of 20:19. Bergbower will make her fourth straight appearance at state. Belleville Althoff’s Savannah Ames won the 1A race in a time of 19:13.
“It was a fast race, good competition, and she ran well,” Webber coach Roger Yates said.
Mt. Vernon’s boys team was eliminated after a 10th-place finish Saturday. The top five teams advanced. Individual results for the Rams were: Jordan Wilemon 54th (16:56), Karson Hahn 67th (17:05), Ethan Badger 76th (17:16), Jake Wilson 80th (17:18), Daniel Flood 81st (17:19) and Brykell Patton 106th (17:47).
“We definitely didn’t give our best effort, and if you don’t give your best effort there your season’s over,” Turner said. “So that’s where we’re at.”
Mahomet Seymour won the 2A boys team title. Charleston’s Riley McInerney won the individual title in a time of 14:53. The Rams entered the sectional after winning the regional title about a week ago.
“You have to be on your best game, and early on I think we were OK,” Turner said. “I don’t know if the guys panicked a little bit, if they got themselves in what they thought was in trouble and just I don’t know what happened.”
In the girls 2A sectional race, Mt. Vernon’s Rebecca Rexing, Camilla Bauer and Zoe Mattingly were all eliminated. Bauer finished with a time of 21:50, and Mattingly had a time of 21:40. Rexing finished her career with two sectional appearances.
“I am really happy these girls got to compete in the sectional race,” Mt. Vernon coach Connie Harre-Blair said. “It was a very positive experience to end the season with.”
The state finals will be held in Peoria.