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Benton, Steeleville, Carmi and Nashville claimed regional cross country titles Saturday.

At the Benton Class 1A regional, Benton took the boys team title and Carmi took the girls crown.

The Rangers Kyle Sneed took individual honors in the boys race, crossing the finish line in 15:52. Teammates Joey Sample placed fourth, Avery Potter fifth, Ethan Krieger seventh and Brady Gischer eighth.

The Rangers finished with just 25 points. Hamilton County placed second with 66 points and Fairfield third at 106. Also advancing to the sectional were Crab Orchard, West Frankfort and Pope County.

Kaden Richards led Hamilton County with a ninth place finish, while Fairfield’s Jayzale O’Neal was third.

Advancing individuals were Ty Barbre of Carmi, second, Seth Thai of Harrisburg, sixth, Branden Skaggs, NCOE, 12th, Will Henson of Gallatin County 21st and Damon Hinton of Gallatin County 23.

Carmi took the girls team title with 81 points, Hamilton County was second ad 98 and West Frankfort third at 108. Benton’s Mia McLain was the individual winner at 18:50.

For Carmi, Payton Dixon was third, Sherry Ashford ninth, Samantha Wooten 22nd, Emma Files 23rd, and Elizabeth Gwaltney 24th.

Jasmine Coomes led Hamilton County with an eighth place finish. Kaitlyn Milligan of West Frankfort was 12th. Other teams advancing were Harrisburg, Fairfield and Galatia.

Joining McClain as individual qualifiers were Keely Clay and Amy Weaver of Pope County. Clay was 11th, Weaver 14th.

At Carterville, Steeleville gook the boys race with 66 points, one notch ahead of Nashville. Pinckneyville was third with 102. The Panthers' Garrett Johnson was the individual winner in 16:11.

Gavin Conway of Steeleville was fifth, Logan Fulkerson seventh, A.J. Stearns seventh, Jacob Fedderke 22nd, and Owen Gross 28th.

Individual qualifiers were Isaac Sinn of Sparta (21st), Blake Niesporek of Murphysboro (18th) and Eli Hamilton of Sparta (30th).

In addition to the top three teams, Du Quoin, Carterville and Vienna move on to sectional competition.

In the girls race, Nashville was first at 51, Pinckneyville 62 and Du Quoin 85. Massac County’s Ansley Bailey was the individual winner.

Jaylyn Bower led Nashville with a third place finish, followed by Sabrina Kollbaum (8th), Brittnie Bartling (9th), Havalen Pierce (13th) and Destyn Hausner (18th).

Kyla Epplin paced Pinckneyville with a fourth place finish while Du Quoin’s Gabi Alongi was sixth. Chester, Carterville and Massac County will also be sending teams to the Benton sectional.

Moving on as individuals were Carly Caril of Sparta (7th), Julia Hall, Anna-Jonesboro (22nd) and Morgan Creamer of Steeleville (27th)

The top seven teams from the Benton and Carterville regionals advance to the Benton sectional next week.

In Class 2A action at Highland, John Bruce of Marion took the boys race in 15:38. Carbondale finished tied for fourth and Marion was fifth. Both teams advance to the sectional as well as Mount Vernon.

In addition to Bruce's first place finish, Marion's Michael Rutkowski placed fifth. Carbondale's Ethan Cherry placed second overall.

Advancing as individuals were Crede Corrill and Jared Brothers of Centralia and Michael Oliver of Herrin.

In the 2A girls race, Kaelan Hall of Herrin (8th), Bria Moore of Mount Vernon (11th), Savannah Childers of Mount Vernon (22nd), Raelan Gold of Centralia (28th) and Cheyenne Finley of Centralia (36th) advance to the Decatur McArthur sectional next week.

In the meantime, Carbondale finished fourth overall and advances to next week's sectional. Freshman Madeline Prideaux placed ninth overall.


On Twitter: @LesWinkeler​


Sports editor

Les Winkeler is sports editor and outdoors writer for The Southern Illinoisan.

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