The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 4, 2012

Hahne, Elliott, Leverenz take honors


PEORIA —  It was an all-state kind of day for Vermilion County runners at the 2012 IHSA State cross country meet.

Schlarman senior Jesse Hahne along with Danville runners Johnny Leverenz and Sadie Elliott earned all-state honors with their performances Saturday at Detweiler Park in Peoria.

Hahne was the top local finisher, placing sixth in the Class 1A meet with a time of 15 minutes, 3 seconds.

It was the second straight all-state honor for Hahne, who was fifth a year ago.

“It’s definitely an honor, but the way that I’m looking at it right now, it’s kind of demoralizing,’’ Hahne said. “I trained the whole year and I wound up a second slower and a place lower than where I did last year.

“It feels like all the hard work I put into this year didn’t pay off for me.’’

Hahne said his race went pretty much the way he wanted it to go, but it was the 200 meters that cost him.

“I went from about third back to sixth in those final 200 meters,’’ he said. “I hit my times for the 1 and 2-mile marks, I just didn’t get the finish I wanted.’’

Leverenz, a junior, is also a two-time all-stater as the Viking standout improved from a 25th-place finish last year to a ninth in this year’s Class 2A meet.

“Coming in, my goal was top 10 and it basically went exactly how I wanted it to go,” said Leverenz, whose time was 14:46. “It really means a lot to me and for Danville cross country. There are not a lot of people who can say they finished in the top 10 at state.”

Leverenz was already looking forward to the future after Saturday’s state meet.

“I’m thinking that my goal for next year will be top three,” he said.  

In her very first state meet, Elliott not only finished 22nd in the Class 2A meet but she annihilated her school record in the process.

The Danville freshman completed the 3-mile course in 17:50, her previous record was 18:24 in winning last week’s Decatur MacArthur Sectional.

“I’m absolutely shocked at how fast I ran today,” Elliott said “I felt that I was running fast, but not that fast.”

And considering she started the year with a goal of being under 20 minutes.

“This has been an amazing season,” she said. “Coming into today, I wanted a top 25 and a time in the low 18s. I was really surprised.”

When asked about future goals, Elliott said she has thought that far.

Just missing an all-state finish was Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac freshman Jon Davis, who was 26th in the Class 1A meet with a time of 15:27.