By James Kay
Lyons Township High School senior Jack Ehlert turned on the jets during his time at the IHSA Class 3A state finals. He finished 15th out of 213 runners that raced in Peoria and helped propel his team to a 16th place finish at state.
In the sectional round the week before, he ran the three-mile course in 16 minutes, 24 seconds, a time that was the best on LTHS' team. He finished ninth overall.
At the state finals in Peoria, however, he knocked off 1:43 off his time and finished the Detweiller Park course in 14:41, to capture all-state honors.
He had run 15:14 and placed first at regionals two weeks ago. According to Athletic.net, his performance at state marks a personal best for the senior.
This was not the first time Ehlert performed well at state. In 2017, he placed 89th as a sophomore with a time of 15:25. He followed that performance the next year coming in 38th at 14:57.
The last LTHS runners to achieve all-state status were Danny Kilrea (2015-17), Vince Zone (2015, 2016), Connor Madell (2014), Michael Matusiak (2012), Ryan Speir (2012), and Sam Telfer (2010).
As for the rest of the team, LTHS' Sam Maddell (93rd place), Cade Nelson (112th place), Owen Hays (130th place), Charlie McLawhorn (145th place), Sam Nowak (172nd place), and Jocqael Thorpe (173rd place) all finished with times under 16 minutes.
LTHS girls place 17th at state
The LTHS girls cross country team placed outside of the top seven in state for the first time since 2014, but still placed within the top 20, finishing 17th overall in the Class 3A IHSA state finals.
Katie Dickman (54th place), Maggie Abbs (61st place), Claire Williams (106th place), Catherine Sommerfeld (124th place), Charlotte Lange (135th place), Teagan O'Flaherty (159th place), and Kiley Durkin (197th place) all finished with times under 20 minutes.