The top ranked Class 1A boys cross country team in the state — the Freeburg Midgets — claimed another title on Saturday. And the final outcome was never in doubt.
Expected to compete for the Class A individual state championship in two weeks at beautiful Dewteiller Park in Peoria, Freeburg junior Charlie Parrish covered the three-mile Smithton Community Park course in 15 minutes, 32 seconds to lead the way as the Midgets ran away with the team title at Class 1A Freeburg Cross Country Regional.
The Freeburg harriers, who claimed five of the top six places, finished with 18 points, 44 less than second-place Mater Dei (62). Only Mater Dei junior Luke Goebel, was able to break through the Midgets pack. Goebel was third overall.
Sophomore Corbin Schwable was second for Freeburg and second in the race, while Carson Smith (fourth), Drew Wilkerson (fifth) and Craig Collier (sixth) rounded out the top five runners for Freeburg which will advance to the Class 1A Metro East Lutheran Sectional at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville on Oct. 29.
Several other schools also will move on. Roxana, Columbia, East Alton-Wood River, Wesclin and New Athens also advanced.
In the girls race, Mater Dei’s Elsye Faust was the individual champion in a time of 19:07 as she outkicked Freeburg freshman Breanna Chandler to the finish line by eight seconds, but the Midgets had four runners place in the top 10 and finished with 33 points to win the team title.
Mater Dei was a close second with 42 points, followed by Althoff (83), New Athens, Roxana, Central and Dupo also earned trip to the sectional with top seven performances on Ssturday.
Class 1A Chester Regional
Nashville junior Brandon Schnitker covered the three-mile Randolph County Conservation course in 16:07 to win the individual championship as he led the Hornets to a third-place finish.
Pinckneyville (50 points) and Steeeleville (68) finished ahead of Nasshville (110) while Red Bud (112) and Marissa (162) also advanced to the Metro-East Lutheran Sectional.
In the girls race, Nashville, with four runners placing in the top 13, finished with 64 points as they defeated rival Okawville (94) for the championship. Freshman Sabrina Kollbaum led the way for Nashville, placing third overall. Red Bud, placing sixth in the tam competition, will join Nashville and Okawville at the Metro East Lutheran Sectional.
Class 2A Triad Regional
The Belleville News-Democrat Class 2A runner of the year in 2015, Mascotuah senior Ethan Price covered the three-mile trek at Triad High School in 16:13 to place fourth overall, but it was the Marion Wildcats who won the team title.
Marion finished the way with 50 points, while Mascoutah was second with 73. Waterloo placed third with 93 and Triad was fifth with 126. All three schools advance to the Decatur MacArthur Sectional on Oct. 29.
In the girls race, one of the state’s best Jenna Schwartz of Waterloo covered three miles in 18:23 — nearly a full minute ahead of the second-place runner — as she led the way for local athletes. Schwartz was an all-state runner last year.
Mascoutah, with Melani Cozzi, MacKenzie Dixon and Arianna Cimaco all placing in the top 10, won the team championship with 55 points, two less than Waterloo (57). Triad was fourth with 111 points, while Highland grabbed the sixth and final spot in the sectional with 116 points.
Class 3A Quincy Regional
Edwardsville junior Frankie Romano and sophomore Roland Prenzler finished first and second respectively as the Tigers eased to the boys title at the Class 3A Quincy Regional.
The Tigers finished with 19 points, 51 fewer than O’Fallon, Also qualifying for the Edwardsville Sectional were Alton, Granite City, Belleville East and Belleville West.
In the girls division, O’Fallon junior Brooke Witzel won the individual championship but Edwardsville, led by a second-place finish from Melissa Spencer, grabbed four of the next five spots, to post a nine-point win.
The Tigers finished with 27 points, while O’Fallon had 36.
Belleville East, Alton and Collinsville also advanced.