Senior Jackson Collman powers through the big hill at the Collinsivlle Cross Country Course during the Madison County Meet Tuesday afternoon.

BETHALTO - Senior runner Jackson Collman overcame the challenges of the Collinsville Cross Country Course during his three-mile run at the Madison County Meet Tuesday afternoon.

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Runners had to deal with some poor footing in areas and some killer hills. The course is one of the most difficult he will take on this season. But it didn't slow him down any.

He ran a time of 16 minutes 29.5 seconds which won him first place in the small schools division and first place in the race overall beating out 75 other competitors.

That's why Jackson is a Tom Lane State Farm Male Athlete of the Month for Civic Memorial.

He's now won this event in back-to-back years. With last year's MadCo event being held at CM he ran a time of 16 minutes 10.5 seconds.

Bethalto went 1-2-3 in the boy's small schools division in that race. Jackson went on to say that last season was a "funky year." He mentioned that the team had a lot of runners out for various reasons.

"This was definitely a good time to have everyone together and see what we can really do as a team," he said.

This year, Jackson found himself slipping behind in the race due to the fact that he didn't get off to as fast of a start as he normally would.

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"I took off a bit too slow and got trapped," he said about his start.

Around halfway through the race, he found himself clustered up in a group of about eight other runners as they were headed straight for the course's monstrous hill.

"I was very quickly able to spot ways to get out. I was just trying to make my way up," he said.

Jackson jokingly said that hill caused him "a lot of pain." He powered through it and fended off that group of runners coming in first place seven seconds ahead of the next runner.

He and the rest of his team are ready for a well-deserved week off before the Mississippi Valley Conference meet on Thursday, October 14th at Principia College.

Last year Jackson ran a 16:02.6 which was good enough for third place. The team finished third with 77 points behind Highland (42) and Mascoutah (67).

He's expecting to do better this year and he'll be coming off a great run at the MadCo meet with plenty of confidence.

Jackson said that he was going to be resting very well before getting right back at it.

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