MAHOMET — The Class 2A Bloomington Sectional was loaded with 12 really solid girls’ cross-country teams, and Mahomet-Seymour knew that it’d be a tough challenge. Their game plan was to stay together. They hoped that by staying together, they’d be able to rack up some big points.

Mission accomplished.

Elizabeth Sims cruised to a fourth-place finish, and her six teammates all managed to finish inside the top 54 to help the Bulldogs barely advance to state.

The top five teams advance and M-S finished fifth, exactly nine points ahead of Urbana.

Sims got some separation from the pack of Bulldogs and crossed the finish line at 18:26.

Sophomores Klein Powell and Grace Lietz were separated by just 16 seconds. Powell took 20th with a time of 19:35. Lietz was 27 at 19:51.

Freshman Ella Scott continued to impress, running a 20:20 to place 44th. Olivia Bunting was nipping at her heels and took home 46th place. Chloe Allen placed 50th and Emily Bednar was 54th.

There were 136 runners in the sectional, so M-S’ strategy really did pay off. Not many other teams could say that their No. 7 runner placed inside the top half.

Peoria Notre Dame, Bloomington, Dunlap and Morton also qualified for state.

The Bulldogs finished in the top-10 last season, and they’ll look to do it again.

The Class 2A state meet will be at Detweiller Park at 11 a.m. Saturday.