The dominant Class 2A cross country runner in the metro east, Waterloo High School sophomore Jenna Schwartz earned a return trip to the IHSA State Cross Country Championship by winning the Decatur MacArthur Sectional on Saturday,
But unlike last year when she earned all state recognition by placing 24th in the state finals, Schwartz won’t be training alone the week before competing in Peoria.
Schwartz covered the three mile course at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur in 17 minutes 36 seconds on Saturday he to win the individual championship while two teammates claimed top 30 finishes as Waterloo won the team championship.
The Bulldogs, who finished with 131 points — eight fewer than runner-up Urbana — also got a 15th place finish from Ella King and a 27th place recording from Sydney Haddick,.
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Waterloo is just one of many teams and inviduals who earned trips to the IHSA state finals on Saturday at sectional meets throughout the state. The ‘16 State Cross Country Meet begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Senior
Also advancing on Saturday were the Mascoutah Indians who grabbed the fifth and final spot. Seniors Melanie Cozzi (18th place) and MacKenzie Dixon (22nd) led the Indians while freshman Arianna Climaco placed 33rd.
In the the Class 2A boys division, Jerseyville senior Ben Flowers, considered one of the favorites to win the state crown, won the sectional title with a time of 15 minutes 13 seconds over the 3 mile course. Mascoutah senior Ethan Price also earned a berth in the state finals — placing fourth overall in 15:31.
Class 3A Edwardsville Sectional
The streak continues.
One of the top 800 meter runners in the state, O’Fallon senior Chris Conrad proved also to be one of the most versatile as he covered the 3.1 mile course at SIU-Edwardsville in 16 minutes 17 seconds to place fifth and lead the Panthers to a second place finish at the Class 3A Edwardsville Sectional.
State power Minooka won the team title with 89 points, while Southwestern Conference rivals O’Fallon (96) and Edwardsville (103) rounded out the top three teams.
The trip to the Class 3A state finals is the 14th straight for O’Fallon. Joey Black (7th) and Will VanAlstine (26th) rounded out O’Fallon’s top three runners.
Edwardsville, which also earned a trip to Peoria, was led by Frankie Romano (4th), Roland Prenzler (14th) and freshman Jack Pifer (19th). Also advancing as an individual was Granite City sophomore Andrew O’Keefe who placed 14th.
Edwardsville and O’Fallon also advanced in the girls division. Minooka (24 points) and Yorkville (36) dominated the girls race but Edwardsville (100) and O’Fallon (124) also move on.
Edwardsville was led by Abby Schrobilgen (13th), Melissa Spencer (15th) and Abby Korak (19th), while O’Fallon’s top three runners were Brooke Witzel (12th), Kaitlyn Walker (21st) and Sophie Wichlac (25th)..
Class 1A Metro East Lutheran Sectional
Overshadowed by the Freeburg High School boys team which is ranked first in the Class 1A state poll, the Midgets girls team could be in the running for a top five finish this weekend in Peoria after winning the Metro East Lutheran Sectional on Saturday.
Freeburg won the meet with 52 points, while Mater Dei (67) and Nashville (143) rounded out the top three teams all of which qualified for the state finals.
Freeburg was led by freshman Breanna Chandler, while seniors Ashley Gilmore (6th) and Kayla Whitworth (8th) also claimed top 10 finishes. Mater Dei, led by coaching legend David Kohnen, was led by Elyse Faust, while Faith Rackers (12th) and Sophia Lager (14th) also ran great races.
Three runners — Tiffani Siekmann (9th) of Althoff, Sarozjani Hunter of (Belleville) Governor French Academy (11th) and Abby Riechmann of Okawville (14th) also advanced.
The Freeburg boys — picked by many to win the Class 1A state title — barely broke a sweat in winning the sectional title.
Led by individual champion Charlie Parrish — who covered the 3.1 mile course in 16:26, the Midgets finished with 42 points, 58 less then runner-up Pinckneyville.
Alex Mack was fourth and Corbin Schwable (10th) for the Midgets. Mater Dei also qualified, placing third. Junior Luke Goebel (3rd) led the Knights, while Kevin Medlin (15th) and Otto Stark (22nd) also had solid races.
Advancing as an individual was Metro East Lutheran junior Javon Watkins who placed 14th.