By PAUL HINES
Mt. Vernon’s boys cross country won its first regional title since 2008 on Saturday.
The Rams edged South Seven rival Carbondale for the team title at the 2A Triad regional. Mt. Vernon finished with 70 points, and the Terriers had 73. Other top seven team scores were: Triad 90, Waterloo 104, Mascoutah 142, East St. Louis 147 and Marion 172. The win for the Rams was a reverse result from the South Seven Conference meet where the Terriers took the title.
“I think it was good for our kids just confidence-wise for the rest of the season to know that they’re a good team,” Mt. Vernon coach Clint Turner said. “And Carbondale’s a good team.
“I think we both ran well. We just ran a little better that day.”
David Modert led the Rams with a fourth-place finish in a time of 15:59. Waterloo’s Josh Rodenberg won the regional in a time of 15:41.
“He had a tough race,” Turner said. “The three kids that were ahead of him, he was able to run right with them.”
The Rams have had a variety of runners in the second slot behind Modert throughout the season. The regional race was no different as Brykell Patton was the second Mt. Vernon runner to finish. He placed 11th in a time of 16:53.
“I don’t ever question his dedication and effort on race day,” Turner said. “He’s starting to figure out what he’s got to do the day before and two days before even a week before to allow him to run at a good level. I think he’s starting to figure that out.”
Other Mt. Vernon results were: Karson Hahn 14th (16:57), Jordan Wilemon 20th (17:04), Daniel Flood 21st (17:05), Jake Wilson (25th) 17:11 and Ethan Badger 34th (17:41).
“I thought they all ran well,” Turner said. “We hadn’t run that course before, and that makes a difference.”
Mt. Vernon travels to Decatur for the sectional on Saturday.