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East Peoria Times-Courier - East Peoria, IL
  • Vangunten races with state's best

  • Jacob Vangunten finished in the top half of the field Saturday at the Illinois High School Association Class 2A boys cross country state final.

    The East Peoria senior completed three miles at Detweiller Park in a time of 15:51 to place 102nd among the 210 runners who participated in the final meet of the Illinois prep season.
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  • Jacob Vangunten finished in the top half of the field Saturday at the Illinois High School Association Class 2A boys cross country state final.
    The East Peoria senior completed three miles at Detweiller Park in a time of 15:51 to place 102nd among the 210 runners who participated in the final meet of the Illinois prep season.
    This was the sixth straight year a Raider individual raced at state. Vangunten followed Shane Leiby, Kevin Eades (three times) and Hugh Gill to the Galena Road course.
    Vangunten said he hoped he would have a better showing.
    "It was good to make it to state, but I was disappointed I didn't do better," Vangunten said.
    The East Peoria athlete mentioned it was crowded and he had some nerves.
    Vangunten ran in the postseason finale after placing 12th overall the previous week at Illinois Central College at the Notre Dame Sectional.
    "The process of him getting here is definitely a good accomplishment for him," said EPCHS head coach Scott Peterson. "It's hard to run back-to-back strong races."
    Vangunten was farther back at the mile mark than the coach would have preferred and he stayed in the same area the rest of the way.
    The early November weather was suited for cross country — cool temperatures with little wind.
    "The conditions were good. I just didn't race well at all," said Vangunten.
    One of the runners Vangunten outperformed was the Mid-Illini Conference champion from Dunlap, Zach Plank, who was 113th in 15:55.
    "Overall, I could not be happier he got here," said Peterson of Vangunten.
    There were lots of supporters on hand to watch Vangunten.
    "He's definitely a role model of the program, for sure, how hard he worked," Peterson said of his Raider state qualifier.
    Chicago Jones won the 2A boys state championship by 41 points over Belvidere North.
    Jon Wold of Glen Ellyn Glenbard South clocked a 14:16 to claim the individual title by five seconds.

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