A terrific season for area cross-country runners will end at the pinnacle of competition.Rantoul’s Elijah Hall and Armstrong-Potomac’s Austin Bridgman each advanced to state with top-13 finishes in their respective classes.

MATTOON — The Rantoul Eagles will have bigger cross country meets this year, but not two in the same week.In a rare occurrence, the Eagles competed in two large meets less than 48 hours apart.

The St. Malachy cross-country team competed at the Bishop McNamara Invitational held at Kankakee Community College on Saturday.All three runners, Savannah Ihnen (17:19), Sheila Navarrete (16:55) and Hannah Shields (16:30 once again had personal records and finished 87th, 79th and 69th, respe…

NORMAL — They fielded nine runners, without their leader.The Rantoul cross-country team finished seventh with 196 points without Elijah Hall, who had a prior engagement. Bloomington won the Normal Open with 27 points.

STRAIGHT OUT OF THE RANTOUL PRESS SPORTS VAULT STARTED BY FORMER SPORTS EDITOR MATT DANIELS, WE TAKE A LOOK BACK AT THE 2017-18 AREA PREP SPORTS SCENE AND A LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2018-19 SCHOOL YEARMale Athlete of the Year: Jaden Jones-Watkins, Fisher senior, football, basketball & track and field

By ROSS BROWNRantoul Press correspondentGIBSON CITY — Every game, every practice. Every team banquet, gathering and event. Roy Roemer attended them all.Roemer, 67, a longtime Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley sports fan, died Thursday night after a short battle with esophageal cancer.

OAKWOOD — As of Saturday, the Rantoul Eagles were two days away and two long slow distance training runs away from starting the postseason.On Tuesday, the Eagles wcompeted in the Illini Prairie Conference Meet in Pontiac (results were not available at press time). The last tuneup meet was th…

HERSCHER — The Rantoul Township High School Eagles are getting closer and closer to the postseason.With the Illini Prairie Conference meet taking place next week, the Eagles competed in the Herscher Invitational and took fifth with 145 points. Elijah Hall finished with the bronze medal, taki…

RANTOUL — In seven weeks, the best teams in the state of Illinois will gather at Detweiller Park for the Illinois High School Association State cross country championships.But on Saturday the Rantoul cross country team, along with 63 other teams, had a chance to run at the state course in th…

NORMAL — Jonathan Gossett keeps getting better and better with each passing week.While he struggled with some injury problems as a freshman, the Rantoul sophomore has run the two best times of his career in the first two weeks of the cross-country season.

In high school, Eduardo Lopez focused on long sprints and middle distance.But in college, Lopez, who helped the Rantoul Eagles track team advance to the IHSA Class 2A State Prelims in the 1,600-meter relay in 2016, is becoming more and more of a distance runner.

RANTOUL — The Rantoul cross country team, like last year, have a great, solid foundation for the start of a team.But the Eagles, led by head coach Greg Van Hoorn, may be closer to building the house than ever before.

RANTOUL — Rantoul Township High School will hold its Eagles Kick-Off Night for all fall sports on Friday.The event starts at 5:30 p.m., with food such as rowdy burgers, pork chops and “world famous fries” available for purchase at the concession stand.

The high school cross-country season can’t get here soon enough for area running enthusiasts.Count Dustin Dees among them.The second-year Tuscola cross-country coach is so eager for his teams to get a head start on the season, he’s getting the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office involved. For a …

STRAIGHT OUT OF THE RANTOUL PRESS SPORTS VAULT STARTED BY FORMER SPORTS EDITOR MATT DANIELS, WE TAKE A LOOK BACK AT THE 2016-17 AREA PREP SPORTS SCENE AND A LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2017-18 SCHOOL YEARRANTOUL PRESS MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEARDemarius SmithRantoul senior: Wrestling

RANTOUL — The J.W. Eater Junior High will hold tryouts for the Bulldogs’ baseball, softball and cross country teams this month and in early August.The softball tryouts will be from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, July 24 and Tuesday, July 25 at Wabash Park.

URBANA — Rantoul athletics is looking to set the bar for excellence in sports and academics a little higher from here on out.Several student-athletes at Rantoul Township High School were honored with a special awards ceremony May 19 at the Urbana Country Club.

Rantoul Township High School celebrated its first-ever Hall of Fame game by welcoming back 26 members of the Eagles’ Hall of Fame and wearing 1990s throwback uniforms in a 79-58 win over Charleston. Hall of Fame members who were in attendance but not pictured: Jerry Zachary (1956 graduate), …

RANTOUL — Rantoul Township High School held its annual fall sports awards ceremony last Wednesday night.The ceremony honored all of the athletes who partook in cheerleading, football, golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball.

METAMORA — In the last month of the cross country season, Elijah Hall has been nothing if not consistent.The sophomore finished 58th in the Illinois High School Association Class 2A Sectional at Metamora, running a three-mile time of 16 minutes, 55.07 seconds. Hall has consistently broken 17…

NORMAL — Elijah Hall is moving on.The Rantoul Eagle advanced to the Illinois High School Association Class 2A Sectional, which will be held at Metamora on Saturday.

When you find yourself among competitors from Monticello, St. Joseph-Ogden and Tolono Unity, you realize you are in some pretty heady company. 

The number of runners for the Rantoul Township High School cross country team is holding steady.The times, however, are dropping.Sophomore Elijah Hall broke 17 minutes at both the Herscher Invitational, which was held on Saturday, and the Mattoon Invitational on Thursday.At Herscher, he fini…

PEORIA — Elijah Hall had a chance to tour the Detwiller Park Cross Country Course in Peoria on Saturday morning.The Rantoul Township High School sophomore is hoping, like many others, he will eventually have the chance to tour the course in early November at the Illinois High School Associat…

PAXTON — The Rantoul Eagles do not have a full team to compete in cross country yet. But they are getting much closer.Especially on the boys level.While they are creeping closer to putting a full team on the field, the other good news is they are extremely young as the top three runners are …

RANTOUL – Greg Van Hoorn and the Rantoul Eagles cross country team have a meet in the books already.But while the meet at St. Thomas More was the first official one of the year, things will get infinitely more serious this weekend at Maxwell Park in Normal.

ARMSTRONG — Now that Armstrong-Potomac athletics is no longer co-opping with Oakwood for football and cross country, the cross country team will be on its own at the high school.

RANTOUL — The fall athletics season for Rantoul Township High School gets underway Friday with the annual Eagles Kick-Off Night at Bill Walsh Field.The event begins at 5 p.m. with dinner being served by the RTHS athletics booster club by the concession area on the east side of the home bleachers.

By DANIEL L. CHAMNESSRantoul Press correspondentRantoul cross country head coach Greg Van Hoorn left the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Invitational pleased, but not shocked.The Eagles, with limited numbers, are getting better and better every week. The boys team, behind three top 50 finishes, finished…

By DANIEL L. CHAMNESSRantoul Press correspondentRANTOUL — The Rantoul Eagle cross country team is not where veteran coach Greg Van Hoorn expected them to be at this point in the season.

By DANIEL L. CHAMNESSRantoul Press correspondentRANTOUL — There is a youth movement afoot for the Rantoul Eagle cross-country team.