CARTERVILLE (WSIL) -- Across southern Illinois it's time to run our fastest 3 miles.
Saturday morning we've got athletes competing at 3 different regionals.
In Class 2A our area will be well represented at Highland.
In 1A a majority of our schools will be lined up at the start in both Marissa and McLeansboro.
We've got our eye on all of our local athletes.
Here's a look at some of our teams.
Benton has a strong cross country program. Both Boys and girls won the Ohio division at the conference meet. The Girls lead by Mia Wills had four of the top six finishers. Reece Johnson took the win for the boys with a time of 16:25. Right behind him was Gavin Genesio and the Rangers had five of the top six finishers. Benton will be heading over to the McLeansboro Regional. They've put in the work, and they are making sure they enjoy the fruits of their labor as well.
"It's a grind putting in the miles every single day but when you get to do it with your friends, it just makes it that much better," Johnson said.
Pinckneyville's boys have matched Bentons success. Issac teel, just a freshman, recently won the conference meet with a time of 15:42. They are strong up and down the lineup. Steven Hirte, Dylan Bledsoe and Daniel Garavaglia give the Panthers 4 runners who recently ran under 17 minutes. They could be tought to beat at the Marissa meet.
"Our splits from our times from our one through seven have been pretty good this year and we talk about that a lot," Pickneyville Cross Country Coach Ryan Bruns said. "We want to keep them as close as we can. It's been fun I just hope we can keep it going."
DuQuoin's Olivia Phillips has won seven straight races. Pushed by Lauren Heape and Jacqueline Crain the Indians had a 1-2-3 finish in the girls conference championship. Landon Swin ran a 15:55 race on the boys side. Like the teams aforementioned, DuQuoin's strength is depth and they hope it plays into their favor at Marissa.
"We had some pretty good performances at the conference meet individually and as a team really," DuQuoin Cross Country Coach Eric Kirkpatrick said. "Our top nine runners, we are solid one to nine. We feel like we've got a pretty good group and that's one of our best qualities and hoping to use that the rest of the postseason."
Massac County's Ansley Bailey will run at SIU. She won the Ohio division with a time of 18:39. A week before that she was even faster in West Frankfort.
"I ran a 17:57 so I was really impressed with that so I'm staying right in my time," Bailey said. "The only time I hit the 21 was my first race but the first race you've got to get the jitters out so it's never going to be the best timing for the first race."