The dominant Class 1A cross country team in southern Illinois, the Freeburg Midgets won’t be bringing home a trophy from the IHSA state finals, which were conducted on Saturday at famed Detweiller Park in Peoria.
But thanks to standout runners Charlie Parrish and Alex Mack, the Midgets claimed an eighth place finish in the team competition. Parrish finished 26th and Mack was 29th in the three mile race. Both runners just missed earning all-state honors. The top 25 finishers in each race earn all-state recognition and all-state medals.
Powerful Tolono Unity had four runners place in the top 20 as they breezed to the team title with only 42 points. Freeburg finished the day with 260 points.
Okawville senior Jacob Schwankhaus was 41st overall in 14:43, Alex Becker of Red Bud was 80th in 15:13, while Columbia senior Kristian Avise-Rouse placed 91st in 15:20.
Class A Girls
Mater Dei freshman Elyse Faust placed 54th overall and teammate Amy Krebs was 95th as the Knights earned 14th place in the team race on a cool, crisp November Saturday morning in Peoria.
The Knights finished with 356 points, 226 behind champion Tolono Unity (130). Freeburg was 16th with a score od 364 pioints.
The Midgets were led by Ashley Gilmore who placed 39th in a time of 18:47. Freeburg sophomore Kayla Whitworth placed 90th in 19:47.
Seventh in the Class 1A state finals a year ago, Red Bud senior Keri Burmester failed to earn a top 25 medal, placing 30th overall in 18:39. Okawville junior Mallory Unverfehrt was 117th in 20 minutes 14 seconds.
Class 2A girls
Staking her claim as one of the top freshmen in the state, Waterloo standout Jenna Schwartz placed 23rd and earned all-state recognition in the Class 2A event on Saturday.
Schwartz finished with a time of 17 minutes 55 seconds, well behind champion Maryjenne Gilbert of Peoria Notre Dame whio finished in 16 minutes 24 seconds, but good enough to become the Mississippi Valley Conference’s lone medal winner on the girls side.
Triad senior Abigail Richter wasn’t as fortunate. The ‘14 News-Democrat Class 2A runner of the Year, Richter missed out of a top 25 finish as she placed 48th overall with a time of 18:18.
The Highland Bulldogs completed a solid season with a 20th place finish in the team competition with 488 points. Sarahbeth Wiegman led the way for the Bulldogs, placed 85th with a time of 18:48. Freshman Katelyn Marti was 104th in a time of 18:58.
Class 2A boys
The lone metro-east entry in the race, Jerseyville senior Ben Flowers made the most out of his opportunity as he earned all-state honors with a 13th place finish. The Panthers standout finished with a time of 14 minutes 57 seconds. Jack Aho of Grayslake Central won the race in 14:25.
Class 3A girls
O’Fallon sophomore Brooke Witzel was the dominant metro-east runner as she breezed to a time of 17 minutes 29 seconds and a 32nd place in the highly-competitive Class 3A race at Detweiller Park.
The News-Democrat Class 3A runner of the year in ‘14, the Panthers standout virtually locked up another such honor as she led the Panthers to a 21st place finsh. Teammate Caitlyn Clinton was 108th overall in 18 minutes 16 seconds. O’Fallon finished with 489 points.
The Edwardsville Tigers also concluded a very successful season with a 25th place finish on Saturday. Maddie Miller (97th) and Colleen Corkery (161st) paced the Tigers attack.
Class 3A boys
The perennial state power O’Fallon Panthers saw their streak of five straight top 10 finishes come to an end on Saturday, but coach Jon Burnett’s young squad did manage to place 21st in the state with another solid effort at Detweiller Park.
The Panthers finished with 483 points and were led by junior Joey Black who was 84th overall in a time of 15:25. Chris Conrad was 108th in 15:31, while freshman Kyle Dismukes ended up in 116th place with a time of 15:35.
Granite City freshman Andrew O’Keefe placed 97th in 15 minutes 28 seconds.