No, this isn't a golf story and that isn't the correct spelling of the golf term.
Four Pekin cross country runners — Kolton Dunkelbarger, Brody Blackwell, Paige Arseneau and Alex Bassen — have qualified for the Class 3A state meet Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria.
They earned berths at the Granite City Sectional last Saturday in Wilson Park on a cool, breezy morning on a flat course that's unusual because a portion of it is on pavement. Runners can't use their regular spiked running shoes on the course.
It will be the third state meet appearance for Arseneau, and the first for the other three Pekin runners.
The top seven runners not on state meet qualifying teams at sectionals earn berths in the state meet as individuals. That's how the Pekin runners qualified.
Dunkelbarger finished 17th in the boys race in a season-best 15:29.97. Blackwell was 19th in 15:32.13. They were the sixth and seventh individual state meet qualifiers.
Arseneau was 17th in the girls race in 18:07.67. Bassen was 31st in 18:31.77. They were the third and seventh individual state meet qualifiers.
Last weekend's sectional was the final shot at getting to the state meet for Dunkelbarger, a senior, who missed qualifying for state by a combined 6.6 seconds the last two years. He missed by .6 seconds when he was a sophomore.
Blackwell, a junior, fell hard after another runner cut in front of him about one mile into the three-mile race at regionals two weekends ago, but he recovered to get to sectionals and is now headed to the state meet.
"Kolton and Brody qualifying for state isn't a fluke. It's well deserved," said Pekin boys cross country coach Cole Stoner. "They've been our top two guys all year and they came into the sectional with a good mindset."
Dunkelbarger and Blackwell are the first state meet qualifiers coached by Stoner, who is in his third year in the position. The Pekin boys cross country team had five coaches in five years before Stoner finally provided some stability.
Stoner said Dunkelbarger never let the disappointment of not qualifying for state the last two years become a negative influence.
"Kolton accepted what happened better than anyone I know would have done it," Stoner said. "It was very exciting for me to give him a congratulatory instead of a consolatory hug after the (Granite City) sectional."
Blackwell had a strong finish at the sectional.
"Brody needed every second," Stoner said.
Indeed he did. The eighth-place individual finisher, Julian Mines from Joliet Central, was clocked in 15:32.45, just .32 seconds slower that Blackwell.
"What a relief it was to get Brody through to state. We know what it's like to be the other side when that happens," Stoner said.
Arseneau, a junior, finished 178th of 217 runners at the state meet when she was a freshman. She improved to 113th of 210 runners as a sophomore. Her time dropped from 18:54 as a freshman to 18:29 as a sophomore.
She should continue to climb the leader board Saturday at Detweiller and lower her time.
This is Bassen's second year running cross country for Pekin. The junior played volleyball when she was a freshman.
"We've roped her in," said Dragons girls cross country coach Erika Gilmore. "Alex is right on Paige's heels in practice. She always gives Paige a run for her money. It would be great if Alex would run year-round, but she's very involved in soccer."
Gilmore's team ran as a team at the Granite City Sectional and finished eighth among 12 teams with 254 points. Yorkville won with 26. The top five teams advanced to the state meet.
Four of the seven Pekin runners — sophomore Brianne Nye (19:29.41), freshman Lily Wegemann (19:58.69), freshman Jayvian Riley (20:10.17) and sophomore Jessica VanDyke (20:49.29) — ran personal-record times for a three-mile race.
Steve Stein can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.
CROSS COUNTRY: Next stop is Detweiller for four Pekin runners