Waterloo junior Jenna Schwartz continued to establish herself as one of the favorites to take the Class 2A state cross country title Saturday by winning the individual championship at the Decatur MacArthur Sectional.
Already a two-time all-state runner, Schwartz covered the 3-mile course at Hickory Point Golf Course in 17 minutes, 20.15 seconds, just ahead of Danville’s Shanice Garbutt, who finished in 17:21.
Led by the effort of Schwartz, Waterloo took the team title with 94 points, 11 fewer than runner-up Springfield (106). Chatham Glenwood (115), Triad (116) and Mascoutah (140) rounded out the top five teams that earned a trip to the Class 2A state meet Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria.
While Schwartz led the way for the Bulldogs, Waterloo also got a sixth-place finish from Ella King and a 12th-place effort from Sydney Haddick. Triad’s fourth-place effort was led by freshman Alyssa Kowalski, who was 11th overall, and Maddie Keller, who was 16th.
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Mascoutah’s fifth-place finish was led by sophomore Julia Kapp, who placed 18th. Advancing as individuals were Samantha Hengehold (sixth) and Jessica Borror (10th), both of Highland.
In the boys race, Waterloo was the lone local team to advance to the state finals. The Bulldogs were third (125 points). Chatham Glenwood (79) won the title, and Springfield (92) was second. Third-place Waterloo was led by Eli Ward, who placed 17th overall. Adam Robson was 18th.
Locals advancing to Detweiller Park were Brandon Johnson (10th) and Casmir Cozzi (12th), both of Mascoutah.
Freeburg wins boys sectional title
Mater Dei senior Luke Goebel won the individual title by the narrowest of margins over Wesclin freshman Justin Mumford, but it was the Freeburg Midgets who tuned up for the Class 1A state meet by winning the team title at the Benton sectional at Benton City Park.
Goebel covered the 3-mile course in 14:24.9, just ahead of Mumford, who finished in 14:25. Freeburg senior Charlie Parrish was third in 14:32 as he led the Midgets to the title.
Junior Carson Smith was 14th and junior Blake Hatter was 17th for Freeburg, which finished with 92 points – 35 less than runner-up Pinckneyville (127). Columbia placed third with 129 points to earn a trip to Peoria. Eli King (18th) and Ethan Sturm (19th) led the way for the Eagles.
Mater Dei, led by Goebel, gabbed the fifth and final state-meet slot. The Knights finished with 149 points. Nashville senior Brandon Schnitker was fifth overall to earn a trip to Peoria.
In the girls division, Nashville (92 points), nipped both Freeburg (102) and Mater Dei (109) for the team championship, but all three teams advanced to the state finals. Jaylyn Bower (seventh) led the way for Nashville, and Freeburg’s Breanna Chandler won the individual title in 17:33 to lead the second-place Midgets.
Mater Dei was led by junior Elyse Faust, who placed 16th overall. Local individual qualifiers are Gibault freshman Brooke Biffar (fifth) and Okawville senior Madelyn Teppe (sixth).
O’Keefe defends home turf
Granite City junior Andrew O’Keefe took advantage of the home course at Wilson Park as he won the title at the Class 3A Granite City Sectional on Saturday.
The lone local individual to earn a bid to the state finals, O’Keefe finished in 14:56. Yorkville (84 points) and Lockport (95) took the first two places, but Edwardsville (111) and O’Fallon (112) took third and fourth place to lock up another trip to Detweiller Park.
Junior Roland Prenzler (fifth) led Edwardsville, while Lucas Capistrant (second) paced the O’Fallon attack.
The Edwardsville girls also earned a berth in the state finals by placing third behind Yorkville (26 points) and Minooka (73). The Southwestern Conference champions, Edwardsville placed third with 89 points.
Abby Korak (eighth) and Melissa Spencer (ninth) were the top runners for Edwardsville. O’Fallon advanced three individuals — Brooke Witzig (12th), Kaitlyn Walker (18th) and Sophie Wichlac (23rd). Belleville East senior Seleiya Wilson will also be going to Peoria after placing 30th.