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Phegley having another good cross seasonPosted Thursday, September 17, 2009, at 11:23 PM
Union (Dugger) junior Jake Phegley has high hopes for the 2009 boys cross country season. The all-conference runner was 19th at the sectional last year, missing a spot in the regional by four positions. (By B.J. Hargis/Greene County Daily World).
Phegley, who competed as a freshman in 2007 for Union (Dugger) High School, finished sixth in the TRC and seventh at the SWIAC in 2008, earning all-conference honors in both leagues.
He just missed advancing to the regional, as he placed 19th at the Terre Haute Sectional, four spots short.
"Jake is having another very good season so far," said Union (Dugger) coach Clarence Johnson. "He just continues to get better and better.
"How far he can advance this season will be up to him. He just has to continue to work hard."
Phegley said that his best time this season is 17 minutes and 42 seconds for 3.1 miles. He added that one of his goals is to cut that time way down. He was timed at 18 minutes even in winning on the hilly course at the Bloomfield Invitational earlier this month.
He won easily at Sullivan Sept. 10. His time was 17:57.
"My goal is to get under 17," said Phegley, who also plays football on the Bulldog football team. "I did not have a very quick first lap and that kept me from putting up a better time.
"To be honest, I am just doing the best I can to keep up with Drew Gambill of Shakamak."
Gambill has advanced to the state meet in cross country the past two seasons. His accomplishments are driving Phegley to improve.
"He is one of the best runners in the state and one of the best in the Wabash Valley," said Phegley. "I know he will be at the front of the pack at both conference races and at the sectional.
"I just hope to try and stay as close to him as possible. If I can do that, I should be near the front of the pack."
Phegley said it is not easy balancing practice time for football, cross country and keeping up his school work.
"It can be tough," said Phegley, who said that he plays fullback and cornerback on the gridiron. "But I like the challenge of trying to play two sports."
Phegley said he has not really thought about how far he could possibly advance when the post season begins.
"I just want to keep cutting my times," said Phegley. "I figure if I do that then winning and losing should take care of itself.
"I am just going to go out and do my best and hopefully that will be good enough to get at least to the regional."
It should be interesting to see how far Phegley's legs and heart will take him, both this year and next.
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12.
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