LANSING | T.F. South runner Dylan Angell did not have a lot of time to savor his earning a trip to the Class 3A state meet.
Angell is the first T.F. South runner to qualify for the state finals since Jake Bruene did in 2004. Angell will run as an individual at Saturday's Class 3A meet at Peoria's Detweiller Park.
The senior finished 18th at the Quincy Sectional with a time of 16 minutes, 2 seconds. He took a few minutes to get his award and his packet for the state meet, then he was in another race to get back to the south suburbs.
"I had a hockey game in Oak Lawn at 6 o'clock and I had to get back," Angell said. "I made it back, but I remember after the second period, I sat down and said. 'Man, am I tired.' After the game, I was just glad the day was over."
His mom drove him back with his hockey gear in the back of the car. Angell scored a goal and had two assists in helping the Cobras to a win. He is on a club team made up of players from T.F. South, Stagg, Evergreen Park, Shepard, Richards and Oak Lawn high schools.
Angell's running has improved as the season wore on. This was his first year in cross country and coach Fred Seibel said he is impressed with Angell's hard work.
"Dylan does keep getting better and better," Seibel said. "I knew at the beginning of the year when he won our first meet, that he had it in him.
"Maybe because he didn't run his first three years, he seemed fresh every race."
Angell played soccer as a junior and football his first two years. He said he wonders how good he could be if he had run all four years, but doesn't dwell on it. He wants to have a good finish in Peoria.
"I think if I get a good start and run well, I can break 16 (minutes) and maybe go 15:55 or so," Angell said. "That would be good because my goal is to finish in the top 20 and that should get me in."
He is also aware of his being the first South runner in seven years to run in a state meet and the first to run in Class 3A. When Bruene qualified, it was a two-class meet.
"It is really awesome to qualify for state my first year running," Angell said. "I was talking with my mom on the way back (from Quincy) and I was like in fifth grade when Bruene qualified. It has been a few years."