ST. CHARLES – Twenty one teams qualified for the St. Charles East IHSA Class 3A Sectional held Saturday at LeRoy Oaks Forest Preserve, but only five advanced to next weekend’s state meet at Peoria.
The St. Charles North and Geneva girls teams made the cut for a trip downtate. The Vikings finished third (122 points) while the North Stars took fifth (175).
The North Stars boys’ team, which finished second (111), also earned a berth at the state meet.
“The kids ran great. They ran like a senior-dominated team, and that’s what they are,” North Stars coach Kevin Harrington said. “For weeks we have been hitting on four cylinders instead of five. Boy, we just really hit them all today. Our first five guys ran big [personal records]. That was awesome.”
North's Spencer Gray ran 15:12.5 to finish second.
Gray, a senior, who fell in the mud during last week’s regional meet and still finished sixth, wanted to make a statement the last time he would run on North’s home course.
“We run here a lot during the year,” Gray said. ”It’s the last time I get to run this course so I wanted to do it with a bang.”
The Batavia and St. Charles East girls team and Geneva boys teams will be represented by individual runners. The top seven harriers from teams not qualifying for the state meet also earn a trip to Peoria for Saturday's state meet.
Senior Michael Bianchina, who finished third (15:13.8), will represent the Vikings while Trevor Hollis, who took fifth (15:14.2), will run for the Batavia boys.
Bob Thomson, who coaches both Geneva teams, had mixed emotions.
“When you coach both, it’s a high and a low,” Thomson said. “I’m very pleased with how both the girls and the boys ran. The boys ran out of their minds today as far as what they had to do to try and make it [downstate]. The girls made it to the top rung of the ladder and now we’ll have to see what we can do next week.”
Torree Scull, who finished 13th (17:42.9), is the lone East girls qualifier. Batavia freshman Dakota Roman, who took 14th ( 17:44.6), will represent the Bulldogs’ girls team.
DeKalb’s Kelsey Schrader won the girls race with a time of 16:57.5. Jimmy Qiao of Naperville North, with a time of 15:05.5, took first in the boys race.