Eight high schools entered runners in the IHSA Class 2A regional cross-country meet Oct. 22, hosted by Woodstock North High School at Emricson Park.
Boys and girls teams competed with hopes of advancing to the Class 2A Sectional meet Oct. 29 at Belvidere High School. The top six teams qualified to move on, as well as the top five individuals out of non-qualifying teams.
Woodstock High School
The Woodstock High School girl’s team earned their entry into sectionals with a third-place finish. Sophomore Kylie Hagmann led the team in third place, completing the 3-mile course in 19 minutes, 14.10 seconds. Hagmann has been running close to veteran standout Kate Jacobs for most of the season and this week she crossed the finish line first.
Senior Jacobs followed in sixth place (19:28.00), with freshman Shannon Koscinski on her heels in eighth (19:30.60).
Also scoring for WHS were sophomores, Julia Walsdorf (21:18.10) and Lauren Wietermann (21:18.30), who came in nearly side-by-side in 34th and 35th.
The WHS boys team will also be advancing to sectional competition, with a fifth-place finish among a deep field. Scoring runners included junior Anthony Thomas, 19th (17:41. 50), seniors Jarod Baker, 20th (17:43.20), Justin Kucharski, 28th (18:02.90), Austin Castillo, 29th (18:04.30) and junior Carter Hansen, 33rd (18.20.00).
“The runners all went after it today,” said WHS head coach Jay Fuller. “It was fun.”
The race marked the final race at Emricson Park for the seniors. Reflecting on her cross-country career, WHS senior Emma Bateman said, “I started as a sophomore and I couldn’t even run the whole course. I would never have thought I’d run a 21 [minute race] at Emricson.”
Bateman was happy with her personal record time of 21:49:00.
Woodstock North High School
The WNHS girls and boys teams fell short of advancing to sectionals with an eighth place finish for the girls, seventh for boys. The boy’s team, however, did have five boys advance as individuals based on time.
Individuals advancing to sectionals will be: senior Brandan Amann (17:38.30), freshman Aidan Filetti (17:59.70), senior Ryan Hanson (18:48.30), sophomore Luke Duenas (19:04.60) and junior Braeden Given (19:30.10).
“The boys knew ahead of time how the meet would work [with the seventh-place team qualifying five boys as individuals] and they did exactly what they needed to do,” said head coach Cas Creighton, who also works for The Woodstock Independent.
Despite the season coming to an end for most of the runners, team spirit was strong in the WNHS camp. Senior Peyton Wood thought it was fitting to finish her four years of cross-country at their home course in Emricson Park. “A lot of people put their heart out for the team,” she said. “We’re a family.”
Four-year runner Danny Blalock said, “It was nice to run with everyone for the last time as a team.” He recalled how he has run every day for four years from mid-June to October with this team. “It’s going to be weird next summer,” he said.
Marian Central Catholic High School
Marian Central Catholic High School also competed in the Woodstock North Regional. Marian Central’s girls placed fourth, led by senior Abigail Jones, second place (19:02.30) and freshman Siobhan Stoll, fifth place (19:22.70).
The girl’s team will advance to sectionals with WHS and WNHS Saturday, Oct. 29, at Belvidere High School.
Freshman Ryan Jones finished in fifth place at the Class 1A Regionals with a time of (14:37). He will move on to Class 1A Sectionals at Oregon Park West Saturday, Oct. 29.
The state meet for boys and girls will take place Saturday, Nov. 5, at Detweiller Park, Peoria.