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Batavia boys, Geneva girls strong at North cross country invite

ST. CHARLES – Concern that predicted thunderstorms would impact varsity races at the 13th annual St. Charles North Cross Country Invitational on Saturday at Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve, race officials pushed up the start time of the two events. But it was a technical glitch that delayed the final result of the boys’ race.

Resolution of the issue was good news for Batavia as the updated numbers vaulted the Bulldogs into fourth place.  

“One of our kids (Ryan Wieties) lost his chip during the race so they tallied up the score without it,” Batavia boys coach Mike DiDomenico said. “He was our number three runner so it impacted the score, and they had to come back and revise it.”

The device, attached to runners’ shoes, is used to record times at the finish line. Officials determined, by reviewing video of the finish line, that Wieties came in 19th with a time of 15:47.8. 

Adjusted results did not the affect the top three teams – Wheaton Warrenville South (57), New Trier (60) and Jones College Prep (137). Batavia’s revised total of 138 points pushed Marmion into fifth place (153). Twenty-three boys teams competed in the event.

The varsity contests, originally scheduled for 10 and 10:30, were run at 9 and 9:25.

Mitch Zabka was the top Batavia finisher. His time of 15:28.1 on the three-mile course earned him seventh place.

“I thought we ran OK but there is still room for improvement,” DiDomenico said about his team’s effort.” Hopefully we will be ready in two weeks for conference.”          

Geneva took second in the girls varsity race, tallying 87 points. St. Charles North (96) finished fourth in a race that was won by Hinsdale Central (71). Minooka (92) and Metea Valley (121) rounded out the top five finishers in the 15-team field.

“McKenzie Altmayer is one of our top runners and she didn’t run because her foot is bothering her so a couple girls stepped up today,” Geneva coach Bob Thomson said. “Kathryn Adelman (seventh, 18:28.7) ran really well  and Brooke Nusser (13th, 18:47.0) is where we are looking for her to be.” 

“We also had some help from a couple of freshman – Gabrielle Thomson (22nd, 19:08.4) and Emma Ehrhardt (24th, 19:13.3),” continued Thomson. “They ran really well today. It was good to see some kids moving up.” 

Wheaton Warrenville South’s Nolan McKenna won the boys contest with a time of 15:01.8. Senior Max Rowland from St. Charles East finished eighth with a time of 15:33.9. 

Ashley England of St. Charles North took third place in the girls race with a time of 17:55.0. Hinsdale Central’s Alexa Haff won the race. The freshman completed the circuit in 17:25.2. Batavia sophomore Dakota Roman’s time of 18:36.9 earned her ninth place. 

Runners had to contend with wet conditions and uncomfortable weather.

“It was definitely difficult,” England said about the course. “It wasn’t so bad at the beginning but once you got into the back part there were a couple of water holes. I started in third and finished in third so that was good.”

“It wasn’t as wet as I thought it would be,” Zabka said. “We had to adjust to the humidity, which was pretty high up there.”

St. Charles East (265) came in eighth in the boys varsity race, followed by St. Charles North (284) in 10th. Burlington Central (304) took 11th and Geneva (433) finished 16th.

Batavia (156) finished seventh and Burlington Central (283) took 10th in the girls’ competition.

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