The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

October 27, 2013

Leverenz begins his final run

(Continued)

Leverenz isn’t the only male runner from Danville that will be making the trip to Decatur for the Class 2A sectional. The Vikings finished an impressive fourth-place in the regional, qualifying as a team for the sectional meet.

“That’s very important, and it should keep the morale of the team up this week,’’ Leverenz said. “It’s good to have some guys to practice with this week. I like to see what we can do at sectionals as a team.’’

The Danville girls team also secured a spot in the Class 2A sectional meet with sixth-place finish on Saturday.

“That was the goal coming into today,’’ said Orvis of getting both teams into sectionals. “With the guys, I figured we would land about fifth or sixth, so I was pleasantly surprised with a fourth.

“With the girls, I thought they could be anywhere from third to fifth. Having a girl drop out with an injury, didn’t help our cause, but I’m glad the rest of the girls were able to pick it up and get through.’’

Danville’s Caylin Smith injured her ankle on Saturday and senior Linna Shutt came through for the Vikings. Shutt, who was the No. 5 runner for Danville on Saturday, ran a personal best of 22:59, finishing 43rd in the race.

“The panic button was definitely hit,’’ Orvis admitted. “Linna Shutt ended up being our fifth runner, and luckily for us, she ran a minute faster than she has ran all year. Her race was the key to our success. That’s probably a first for her career — Linna Shutt was the runner of the meet.’’

Orvis said that contribution proves that cross country is more than having a top individual runner.

“Depth is such a key to cross country,’’ he said. “It’s something that we’ve rarely had on the girls side. This year, we have eight runners, we sat one that was sick and we lost one during the race. But as coach B.J. Luke always says, ‘the next one in line has to step up.’”

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