This morning’s column turned over to Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond (ALAH) Coach Lyle Dorjahn. Only the second time in 17 years I’ve done so. I’d like to recognize Lyle’s prose as testament to the quality education we received at our school, Atwood Hammond Class of 1975.
Cow Chip Victory
The ALAH Cross Country team made the trip to the eastern edge of Illinois to run the Cow Chip Classic in Chrisman on Saturday September 5th. Historically this uniquely run event has featured the who’s who of Illinois Class A teams. This meet, normally run in flights for #7 through #1 runners, instead broke the 23 teams into flights of 3 teams with boys and girls running together. The changes were made in response to IHSA mandates for competition. For the 2nd week in a row, the Knights tangled with the state’s #1 team, Monticello, in the feature heat of the day along with PBL led by their standout Ryder James.
The Knights again responded to the challenge. The ALAH boys squad dismantled some of the best programs in the state with a dominating performance scoring 46 points to out run Tuscola and Monticello who were 2nd and 3rd with 108 and 120 points respectively.
Leading the way again was Layton Hall with a 2nd place performance. He and buddy Ryder James battled step for step the entire race with James coming out on top this time. Logan Beckmier hung with these two for over a mile but ended up 3rd in the heat and 4th overall. Following Beckmier were Lyle Adcock with 7th overall, Jace Green at 12th overall, and Jake Adcock at 21st overall. Jacob Duzan and Connor Edmonds run 38th and 48th. The Knights are the ONLY squad to place all 7 runners in the top 50 of 133 runners. To show the dominance of this performance, the Knights cumulative time of top 5 was 6 minutes faster than 2nd place and 11 minutes faster for top 7 runners. No personal bests to report from this meet. The Cow Chip course is legendary for it’s hills and turns making it a true endurance test with its brutality.
The Lady Knights were not to be denied some of the spotlight shown on their male counterparts. Running with Monticello and PBL, the ladies hung tough. Running together in an impressively tight pack, when the dust settled, the fillies placed an impressive 6th place. The quality of opposition can’t be stressed enough as Monticello, Marshall, Urbana Uni High, St. Thomas More, and PBL will be amongst the leaders at the state championships. The Lady Knights out ran all but these 5.
Charlie Condill again paced her teammates placing 30th. Alisha Frederick is #2 for the Knights at 35. Going #3 was Sarah Rafferty being 39th overall. Makenzie Brown and Emma Edwards finish 49th and 50th overall to complete the Lady Knight’s scoring. Extraordinary effort put forth by these young ladies. Charlie Condill stated, “This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done athletically in my life!”. That in one sentence describes the thing the cross country community simply calls “Cow Chip”.
Layton Hall and Ryder James duking it out with Logan Beckmier in hot pursuit. James would return the favor, having been beaten by Hall last week. Beckmier is Coach Dorjahn’s grandson, what a rare privilege!