Cross Country

High school cross country: Runners ready to finish unique season at sectionals

Woodstock Marian's Peter Walsdorf runs in the Class 2A Belvidere Regional on Saturday. Walsdorf crossed the finish line in first place with a 31-second lead.
Woodstock Marian's Peter Walsdorf runs in the Class 2A Belvidere Regional on Saturday. Walsdorf crossed the finish line in first place with a 31-second lead.

Crystal Lake South’s Bella Gonzalez and Marian Central’s Peter Walsdorf will try to finish their undefeated seasons with wins at the Class 2A Lakes Cross Country Sectional Meet.

Crystal Lake Central’s Tommy Landt hopes to come back from a leg injury and lead the Tigers to the Lakes’ team championship.

Prairie Ridge’s girls, who finished third in the Class 2A State Meet each of the last two years, also want to make a run at a sectional title. South, which won the Belvidere Regional last week, also has a shot.

The end of the cross country season will look different in many ways on Saturday. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IHSA will not have its state meet at Peoria’s Detweiller Park. Instead, the sectional competitions will finish the season.

Even the sectionals will have a strange feel, with four flighted races for boys and girls, to limit the competitors on the course at the same time because of the coronavirus.

Goals will be the same, to be one of the top five teams or top seven individuals not on those teams, which would qualify for state in a normal year. But with runners divided, it will make for a different kind of sectional racing.

Flights have been organized as follows: Nos. 1 runners and individual qualifiers; Nos. 2 and 3 runners; Nos. 4-5 runners; and Nos. 6 and 7 runners.

The times will be combined after the heats to determine individual and team results, making it more difficult to determine ahead of time any kind of team place standings.

But, it is still a way to culminate a season and no one is complaining.

“I didn’t know it would happen all this perfectly for such a weird year,” said Walsdorf, who won the East Suburban Catholic Conference and Class 2A Belvidere Regional titles the last two weeks. “It was definitely fun. I got to run (at Belvidere) with some of my friends from other schools I hadn’t really seen all year. It was fun to see some new people.”

Walsdorf will see even more new people on Saturday in Lake Villa, including Landt, the Fox Valley Conference champion who missed the Belvidere Regional with a stress reaction near his right ankle.

Central, the FVC team champion, won the regional without him. The Tigers will need him to be close to normal to win the Lakes Sectional.

“It is like a precursor to a stress fracture and an ankle sprain,” Landt said. “I’m going to rest a little bit and be back for sectionals. I was on a road run and something happened, I rolled it or something. I think it’ll be fine, just taking it day-by-day, just getting ready.”

Landt hopes his training base can help him get through without a lot of running the last two weeks. He did some cross-training and planned on some runs this week.

Central’s boys and South’s girls were two of five FVC teams to win regional titles. Jacobs’ boys won the Class 3A Guilford Regional, as did Huntley’s girls. Cary-Grove’s girls won the 3A Grant Regional.

Gonzalez has been dominant in the FVC this season and will get to see some different competition at Lakes. She and teammates Abby Machesky and Addie Frisch went 1-2-3 at Belvidere.

“We’re doing pretty well,” Gonzalez said. “We were all right there. I think we have a good chance at sectional.”

Woodstock’s boys took second at Belvidere after winning the Kishwaukee River Conference title. The Blue Streaks are looking forward to a strong finish at Lakes.

“We ran really well as a team,” Woodstock’s Jack Hansen said. “Our goal was to come out and compete and I think we did just that and beyond. It’s been nice seeing a lot of our younger guys coming into their stride and seeing them grow throughout the year.”

Class 3A Hoffman Estates Sectional

Race times

Girls flights: Nos. 1 and individuals, 8:50 a.m.; Nos. 2-3, 9:30; Nos. 4-5, 10:10; Nos. 6-7, 11:30.

Boys flights: 1:30 p.m., 2:10, 2:50, 3:30, 4:10.

Local competitors

Boys teams: Cary-Grove (Ian Barnes, James Grant, Dominic Garrard, Carson Hendrey, Anthony Zamudio, Kyle Nordengren, Peter Wallis).

Boys individuals: Carlos Montes (McHenry), Enrique Robles (McHenry).

Class 3A Lyons Sectional

Race times

Girls races: Nos. 6-7, 9 a.m.; Nos. 4-5, 9:45; Nos. 2-3, 10:30; Nos. 1 and individuals, 11:15.

Boys races: Nos. 6-7, 12:30 p.m.; Nos. 4-5, 1:15; Nos. 2-3, 2:00; Nos. 1 and individuals, 2:45.

Local competitors

Boys teams: Jacobs (Andrew Doetsch, Connor Maloney, Kyle Horn, Mitchell Ruffin, Adam Lakeman, Aidan DeMuth, Jacob Godinez); Huntley (Thomas Patel, Ryan Besch, Charlie Kucz, Luke Grubbs, Owen Cravens, Chase Porsche).

Boys individuals: Tyler Toms (Dundee-Crown), Christian Azar (Dundee-Crown).

Girls teams: Huntley (Breanna Burak, Brittney. Burak, Molly Allen, Grace Allen, Genevieve Collatz, Madison Grubbs, Delaney Cairns); Jacobs (Kelly Carpenter, Elisabeth Kania, Avery Mason, Elizabeth Proctor, Madeline Osmanski, Elizabeth Tamburrino); Dundee-Crown (Kylee Brodie, Melina Garcia, Pundit Terreh, Paulina Tinajero, Norah Petinaux, Gabrielle Myslo, Yvonne Castro).

Class 2A Lakes Sectional

Race times

Girls races: Nos. 6-7, 10 a.m.; Nos. 3-4-5, 10:35; Nos. 1-2 and individuals, 11:10.

Boys races: Nos. 6-7, 12:05 p.m.; Nos. 3-4-5, 12:40; Nos. 1-2 and individuals, 1:15.

Local competitors

Boys teams: Prairie Ridge (Will Gelon, Ian Mahan, Charlie Inion, Luke Kim, Kevin Koch, John Ni, Will Green); Crystal Lake Central (Tommy Landt, Karson Hollander, Danny Hamill, Austin May, Anthony Camacho, Reilly Wheeland, Noah Blome, Ryan Atkinson); Woodstock (Aidan Schleutermann, Jack Hansen, Dylan Hanson, Alex Wickersheim, Logan Hagmann, Jakob Crown, Max Hodory); Marengo (Luke Chaffin, Zach Secor, Aaron Moehrlin, Patrick Signore, Tommy Lulinski, Marcus Ray, Preston Bailey); Hampshire (Isai Morales, Aidan Gonzalez, Damian Wegiel, Darius Nguepi, Jason Schmidt, Sebastian Abreu, Owen Cuplin).

Boys Individuals: Steve Austin (Harvard), Jorge Aragon (Woodstock North), Alex Picchi (Crystal Lake South), Garrett Czajkowski (Crystal Lake South), K.T. Sivertsen (Crystal Lake South).

Girls teams: Prairie Ridge (Rachel Soukup, Rylee Lydon, Colette Janik, Bridget Jewell, Olivia McPherson, Sophie Robinson, Ella Stark, Leah Walters); Crystal Lake South (Bella Gonzalez, Abby Machesky, Addie Frisch, Emma Murphy, Chelsea Greene, Gianna Pinta, Bianca Garay); Crystal Lake Central (Annie Ferrero, Kylie Smith, Gwyneth Brickey, Hope Ferrero, Emma Macke, Giselle Lemke, Grace Moore); Woodstock (Theresa Presisto, Maggie Adams, Abygale Smith, Ireland Dunnett, Grace Topf, Layla Mickle, Amelia Ferrarini).

Girls individuals: Caroline Binotti (Marian Central).

Class 1A Harvest Christian Sectional

Boys races: Nos. 1 and individuals, noon; Nos. 2-3, 12:25 p.m.; Nos. 4-5, 12:50; Nos. 6-7, 1:15.

Local competitors

Boys individuals: Andrew Ardon (Johnsburg).

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