Most college athletes do not know if they are going to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility because of the coronavirus.
But, University of Illinois-Springfield cross country and track and field runner Lexi Throne, who did her prep work at Litchfield, is far from undecided. She has already decided her future athletically and academically.
“It is a fifth year for me, for sure,” said the former Purple Panther. “I have also had some injury problems, which has contributed to me wanting to run the extra time. I have been doing my running and lifting training plans that my coaches provided. In addition to the workouts my coaches give us, I like to do a ton of stretching and foam rolling to help my muscles recover. I also like to lift and do core workout on my own.”
But this cross country season was one of the best for the UIS junior. It was due to her being healthy for one complete season.
“Lexi raced with a great deal of confidence this fall,” said UIS head coach Tyler Pence. “This was her best season at UIS. She was a major factor for us at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Meet. It has been awesome to see Lexi develop into the young woman she is today. She has faced obstacle after obstacle during her time with us, but has been continuously resilient in coming back.”
At the Great Lakes Valley Conference Meet, the UIS junior served as the Prairie Stars fifth runner, finishing the 6,000-meter race in 23 minutes, 28.22 seconds. She was 34th overall. She helped UIS take fourth overall, which is their best finish ever in the conference.
“The conference race was my best race of the three this fall,” said Throne. I improved my 6,000-meter personal best both times I ran it. I feel like I am in the best shape of my life right now. This is the first time I have had a consistent year of training during my college running career, due to several injuries.”
The conference personal best run bested her previous personal best of 23:58.46, which she ran at the GLVC East Divisional Finals. She was 22nd in that meet, which was held on Oct. 10.
On Sept. 25, they started the season in the GLVC Triangular, winning with a perfect score of 15 points. Throne was the eighth UIS runner to cross the finish line, taking eighth in the 4,000-meter run in 16:00.50.
“This last nine months has been tough on me, mostly academically,” said Throne. “Because of being online for my of my classes, I am less motivated. Athletically, it does not have as big of an impact. It was a bit stressful making sure I was following all of the protocols at meets, such as wearing a mask unless I was actually racing.”
Throne will have an additional year in both cross country and track. Academically, she is working toward degrees in both exercise science and psychology.
Message from Chamness
As everyone can see, there are athletes that did have a season this fall, even though it will not count against their athletic eligibility. I will be doing some additional features, but I am also interested in getting back to business as usual and doing a regular College Report again.
If everyone can email me (Dan62801@aol.com) with the status of their son/daughter right now, I would appreciate it. Please put “The Journal-News” in the subject line of the e-mail.
In addition, the last three years, I have been ill. While I am not 100 percent now, I feel a bit better. Therefore, anyone who did not get a career completion article on them in the last two school years, 2018-19 and 2019-2020, I will be happy to make up for that and not only give your athletic career a good sendoff, but I will also give everyone an update on what you are currently doing. Please email me at the address above.
To the sponsors, I appreciate you sticking. As soon as the political officials and medical officials lift the mitigations, I will be out there once again.
Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. Lets make the 2021 year better than this last one and I will try to make the College Report better as well.