With the boys finishing third as a team and Jessie Crawford finishing 17th in the girls race at the West Frankfort Regional, the Fairfield Mules cross country season will continue this Saturday in the Benton Sectional.
The Benton boys won the team title easily with 21 points, including four of the top six individual runners. Hamilton County was second at 51 before a drop off to Fairfield at 129 in third.
Benton’s Reece Johnson won the boys race in 15:30.1, an average of 5:10 per mile. He won by 24 seconds ahead of Carmi’s Ty Barbre, who doubles as a golf standout for the Bulldogs.
Austin Schuster was the top Mule runner in 16th place at 17:52.8, a 5:57.8 per mile clip. Jacob Britt placed 22nd at 18:17.6. Both are juniors.
They were followed by a pair of freshmen. Chase Smith was 25th at 6:12.7 and Trenton Rutherford was 31st at 18:55.9. Fellow freshman Griffen Hinkle rounded out the team score by finishing 50th at 20:11.4. Caleb Meeks was 83rda t 24:24.
The Lady Mules did not have enough runners for a team score, but Crawford, a sophomore, was the fifth runner not already on an advancing team to finish, sending her on to Sectional as an individual qualifier. She was 17th overall at 22:37.
Freshman Kylie White placed 33rd at 24:45.2 and Katelyn Crawford was 34th at 24:47.9.
J. Crawford and the Mule boys will run in Benton Saturday, one of five state-wide Sectionals. The girls race at 10 a.m. and the boys race starts at 11 a.m.