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SJO boys cross country squad takes 5th at regionals, advances to sectional on Saturday

Giving their all against the best small school running programs on this side of the state, the St. Joseph-Ogden boys cross country team did their best to prove their themselves worthy of the name Spartan. Competing under less than favorable weather conditions at the Class 1A cross country regional in Tuscola on Saturday, the team finished fifth overall.

Their collective effort resulted in extending their season yet another week in order to compete in the upcoming sectional meet in Effingham. The Spartans' top five runners finished with 97 points, two points away from what could have been a three-way tie score-wise with Paxton-Buckley-Loda and Unity, who tallied 95 points each.

This week, SJO runners will train with the goal of qualifying for this season's IHSA state meet at weekend's upcoming sectional for a spot in the IHSA state meet on November 9.

One of the first ten to cross the finish line in the boys race at last Saturday's regional race was SJO's Brandon Mattsey, who led the Spartan contingent in their fifth place finish. He turned in a time of 16:44 on the three-mile Wimple Park course in Tuscola. His career best three-mile time is 15:41.

Supporting Mattsey's effort, Eric Poe finished 14th overall at 17:03 and Charlie Mabry clocked in at 17:15 to earn 20 points for the team.

Here is how the Spartans finished at the 2019 Tuscola regional:

Runner Place Time
Brandon Mattsey (Jr.) 10 16:44
Eric Poe (Sr.) 14 17:03
Charlie Mabry (So.) 20 17:15
Elijah Mock (So.) 24 17:26
Luke Stegall (So.) 29 17:39
Braden Clampitt (So.) 35 18:02
Ethan Blackburn (Fr.) 43 18:39

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