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St. Charles East

Altmayer, Ernst among all-state cross country performers

St. Charles North's Audrey Ernst stays ahead of Naperville North's Claire Hamilton on the way to the finish line in the Class 3A girls race at the IHSA State Cross Country Meet on Saturday.
St. Charles North's Audrey Ernst stays ahead of Naperville North's Claire Hamilton on the way to the finish line in the Class 3A girls race at the IHSA State Cross Country Meet on Saturday.

PEORIA – Geneva junior McKenzie Altmayer and St. Charles North freshman Audrey Ernst jockeyed for position in most of their overlapping races during the girls cross country season.

At Saturday's Class 3A state meet at Peoria's Detweiller Park, both runners emerged with the same accolades.

Altmayer (11th, 17:07) and Ernst (13th, 17:09) both earned all-state recognition by finishing in the top 25.

"McKenzie's just a competitor," Geneva coach Bob Thomson said. "She went out there and competed from the beginning of the race until the end."

Added North Stars coach Shari Hayes about Ernst: "I think that the regionals, sectionals weren't where she thought she should be, so going into the state meet she wasn't running at the top of her game, so today she got back to running toward the front, which I thought was impressive."

In the 3A boys race, Marmion senior Brady Bobbitt, a Batavia resident, was an all-stater, finishing 20th in 14:49.

Advancing together as team entries for the first time in school history, Batavia's girls (11th place) and boys (22nd) formed a solid crimson and gold contingent. The girls finished with 304 points – three better than 12th-place Geneva – behind freshman Emma Stephens' 36h-place run in 17:36.

Classmate Daphne Kolody (77th, 18:03) followed Stephens, while junior Dakota Roman (84th, 18:05) was close behind. The Bulldogs relied on underclassmen throughout the fall and will look to parlay their success into bigger things next season.

Ryan Wieties (92nd, 15:21), David Morrison (119th, 15:30) and Shean Bastian (130th, 15:32) were the top three Batavia boys runners. St. Charles East finished one spot behind the Bulldogs in the team race, with Mark Sciurba (80th, 15:18), Jack Rzpecki (101st, 15:26) and Mike Gerkin (150th, 15:43) pacing the Saints.

In the girls race, East senior Torree Scull took 108th in 18:16.


The Rosary girls boasted two all-state runners in senior Emily Martin (11th, 17:48) and junior Madison Ronzone (16th, 17:54). Aurora Central Catholic junior Karina Liz also earned the distinction with a 12th-place run in 17:49.

ACC finished 14th in the 26-team field, one slot behind Wheaton Academy, which was paced by sophomore Gretchen Pearson (55th, 18:33). Kaneland junior Brianna Bower took 57th in 18:35.

For the boys, Burlington Central senior capped his career with an all-state run, finishing 21st in 15:01. In the team race, pack running from Wheaton Academy's Brandon Lach (30th, 15:13) and Jonan Jones (35th), 15:22) helped the Warriors place 11th.

Keyed by Nick Brouch (92nd, 15:55), St. Francis took 24th.


Aurora Christian sophomore standout Tanner Chada finished third in 15:02, just fractions of a second behind Tuscola's Eric Ponder, the runner up. Fithian Oakwood co-op junior Jon Davis won the race in 14:20.

In the girls race, ACS senior Becca Wert was 109th in 20:02.

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