CHARLESTON -- Ryder James of the Paxton-Buckley-Loda boys track and field team earned a state medal in the IHSA Class 2A state meet.
"He ran a heck of a race," PBL head coach Dustin Franckey said. "He closed real strong and ran a real smart race."
The freshman James finished seventh in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:42.65.
"It feels amazing to get a medal as a freshman at the IHSA Class 2A state meet," James said. "I really can't complain. All the glory goes to God. Without him, I wouldn't be here today."
James -- who also earned a 12th-place medal in the IHSA Class 1A cross country meet last fall -- was the top freshman finisher in Saturday's 3,200-meter race.
Mahomet-Seymour's Mathias Powell was the first-place finisher with a time of 9:24.15, followed by senior Garrett Dixon of Monticello (9:27.92), junior Dawson Smith of Rock Falls (9:35.3), senior Braden Nicholson of Olney Richland County (9:35.88), junior Ryan Jones of Woodstock Marian (9:39.39) and junior Samuel Lange of Morton (9:39.39).
"It was a really big pack in the beginning. It was a little hard, but I kind of picked it up. It was pretty great," James said. "I'm really looking forward to next year in cross and track and field. I know most of the seniors who were beating me aren't going to be here anymore, so I'll probably start placing higher in all the meets I have."
Sophomore Brett Giese finished his high jump season with a leap of 6-0 in preliminaries.