By FRED KRONER
Mahomet-Seymour’s fifth runner, Delaney King, beat the fifth runner from Normal University High to the finish line by four seconds and that was enough to allow the Bulldogs to edge the Pioneers, 55-57, for team supremacy in Saturday’s Class 2A girls’ cross-country regional at Normal’s Maxwell Park.
King ran the 3-mile course in 19 minutes, 46 seconds to place 18th in a field of 64.
The regional crown was the second in a row for M-S and its 15th overall in girls’ cross-country.
The Bulldogs had two of the top five individual regional runners. Elizabeth Sims was second in 18:05 and Brisa McGrath was fifth in 18:37.
Each was accorded all-regional accolades.
Two other teammates finished within 18 seconds of King. Grace Lietz was 14th in 19:28 and Olivia Bunting was 16th in 19:39.
Coach Kristin Allen’s M-S team had strong finishes from it other competitors. Madi Balbach was 20th in 19:49 and Klein Powell also broke the 20-minute barrier, placing 22nd in 19:58.
The top six teams quality for next Saturday’s East Peoria Sectional.
Teams joining M-S and U-High are Washington (83), Metamora (93), Morton (111) and Bloomington (132).
With two seniors placing among the top five individuals at the Class 2A Normal University High Regional last Saturday, Mahomet-Seymour qualified its entire team for next week’s sectional.
Mathias Powell was the repeat regional champion, beating 61 other runners to the finish line.
He averaged 5 minutes, 5 seconds per mile and covered the 3-mile course at Maxwell Park in 15:14. Powell had a 30-second margin of victory.
Bryson Keeble was fifth, in 16:07.
Both Powell and Keeble earned medals for their all-regional performance.
The other M-S regional entrants were: Kyle Nofziger (11th in 16:16); Joe Taylor (37th in 17:40); Peter Slezak (44th in 18:04); David Wilcoski (45th in 18:33) and Josh Wilcoski (47th in 18:49).
Keeble, Nofziger, Taylor and Josh Wilcoski all registered their fastest 3-mile times despite a stiff 20 mph wind.
Nofziger’s time was the fourth-fastest ever by an M-S freshman at a regional meet.
Metamora (53) won teams honors, followed by Bloomington (61), Washington (68), M-S (98), Morton (117) and Champaign Central (150).
The top six teams all moved on to Saturday’s East Peoria Sectional.
The M-S season came to an end on Saturday in the championship match of the Centennial Class 2A Regional.
Mattoon rallied to hand the Bulldogs (15-4-5) a 2-1 loss in a match that was scoreless at halftime.
When the teams played in the regular season, both matches ended in 3-3 draws.
Jake Janda opened the scoring for M-S, taking a pass from Austin Carr and scoring with 30 minutes remaining.
The Green Wave (21-1-3) drew even 10 minutes later and the 1-1 deadlock remained until the Green Wave converted a penalty kick.
“Corey Cebulski made a great play to get his hands on it, but it was too strong of a kick to save,” M-S coach Jeremy Davis said.
For the season, Carr led the Bulldogs with 23 goals. Ethan Mansfield had 10 goals, Kadyn Jones had nine and Joah Moore seven.
Jones and Mansfield each ended with 13 assists.
Moore had nine and Carr eight.
After a 3-2-2 start, M-S was 12-1-3 in its next 16 matches leading up to the regional finals.
Of 24 opponents, just seven scored more than one goal against the Bulldogs, who yielded 30 total goals this season.
The Bulldogs (3-6) finished the season with a two-game winning streak following a 20-13 Senior Night triumph over visiting Macomb (2-7).
The Bulldogs (20-12) open postseason play on Tuesday against the host school, Tolono Unity (27-8), in a Class 3A regional match.
After an idle weekend, the Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday at Danville in a meet that will also include Charleston and Paxton-Buckley-Loda.