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2013 IESA State Cross-Country Meet--Six Individual Titles; Six Team Champions To Be Crowned

A total of 1,274 runners from 204 different schools will compete in the six races at the 2013 Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Final Cross-Country Meet Saturday, October 19 at Maxwell Park in Normal, Illinois. This is the second year of the 3 class series. There were 291 schools that entered the 2013 IESA state series compared to just 276 last year. Five years ago, there were 224 schools that entered the state series. There were eight sectionals held in each class last Saturday (October 12). The top 3 teams from each sectional plus the top 5 individuals not on one of the top three teams all advance to the state meet. Additionally, any individual who finishes in the top 10 also advances as well as any team that tied for 3rd place. This is year No. 35 for the boys cross-country state series and year No. 34 for the girls state series.

The six races will be run Saturday morning on the 3200-meter course at Maxwell Park. The schedule of races will be: Class 1A Girls at 9:30 a.m.; Class 1A Boys at 10:15 a.m.; Class 2A Girls at 11:00 a.m.; Class 2A Boys at 11:45 a.m.; Class 3A Girls at 12:30 p.m.; Class 3A Boys at 1:15 p.m.

The awards ceremonies will be held in the gymnasium at Normal West High School. There is no admission fee. The Class 1A award ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. The Class 2A award ceremony will start at 1:15 p.m. The Class 3A award ceremony will begin at 2:45 p.m. The top 25 individuals in each race will earn a medal. Trophies are awarded to the top three schools in each class and members of those teams each receive a medal.

A complete listing of the 2013 state qualifiers is available at the following link:

Complete final results, individual and teams, will be available from the IESA website around 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Here is a closer look at each of the races:

Girls Class 1A

The good news for the Class 1A girls race is Anna Sophia Keller from Effingham St. Anthony is now in high school and will not be competing in the race. She won last year's race with a course record time of 11:09 and in doing so became the first runner in the history of the IESA to win the individual title three times. With Keller's departure, the individual title appears to be wide open. Three girls who won their sectional last Saturday appear to be the main contenders for the individual title. Arielle Summitt from Urbana University finished 4th last year when she ran as a member of the Champaign St. Matthew squad. Summitt won her sectional meet with a time of 12:11. She will certainly be near the lead as the runners head for home. Katie Kleinert from Clifton Nash finished in 8th place last year and will be looking to improve on her finish. A dark horse may very well be Katelyn Robbins from Liberty. As a 6th grader last year, she finished in 31st place and this past Saturday scorched the field at the sectional with a winning time of 11:36 at Springfield's Lincoln Park course. The team championship will be very close. Champaign St. Matthew, Geneva St. Peter, and Springfield Christ the King appear to be the top three teams and will be battling it out for championship team honors.

Boys Class 1A

The Class 1A boys individual title seems to have a favorite in Liam Vaughn from Heyworth. Vaughn finished 4th last year as a 7th grader in a time of 11:04. His sectional last Saturday was held at Maxwell Park and he toured the course in a nifty 10:40---24 seconds faster than his finish last year and 14 seconds faster than last year's champion. He had an even faster time on the Maxwell Park course at the Normal Parkside invitational earlier in the season when he finished in 4th place overall in a time of 10:38 and was easily the first Class A runner to cross the finish line. Two other sectional champions who placed in the top 10 last year will be looking to improve upon their 2012 finish and perhaps take home the gold medal. Emilio Rivera from Mason City Illini Central finished in 6th place in 2012 and Owen Habeger from Mossville was right behind in7th place. Both won their sectional last Saturday and will be looking to finish even higher this year. Last year's Boys 1A champion, Clarendon Hills Notre Dame, became the first team to score fewer than 100 points since 2006 in winning the team title and they are back again after winning their sectional. They are led by 7th grade William Engels. It is very possible the team champion will again score more than 100 points. The sectional team title does not have a favorite although Mason City Illini Central only scored 28 points in their sectional team championship. When the 1A Boys team results are announced at the awards ceremony, it will certainly be a surprise.

Girls Class 2A

The Class 2A individual title favorite is easily Frannie Verville from Dunlap Valley Middle School. Verville returns as the defending class 2A champion and has already run a blistering 11:36 on the 3200 meter Maxwell Park course earlier this year and a 12:30 on a 2.2 mile course at Detweiller Park in Peoria. However, several individuals will be in the mix as well in that three other runners who finished in the top 10 in 2012 return to improve on their finish this year and will give Verville a race to the finish. Emily Shelton from Channahon finished second to Verville last year and returns as does Christina Ryzhov, a 7th grader from DeKalb Clinton Rosette who was 3rd a year ago as a 6th grader. While Shelton will certainly be a part of the mix, her teammate Stacey Tyrell won the sectional last Saturday. Claire Swedberg from Lindenhurst Millburn MS finished 9th last year and returns as a sectional champion this year looking to go even higher in 2013. Fans will want to certainly see the finish of the 2A girls race as it will be a close all the way to the end. The team favorite is likely to be between Channahon and Tolono Unity. Channahon returns as the defending team champion and will be led by Tyrell and Shelton. The Rockets of Tolono Unity, led by Savannah Day, scored a measly 17 points in winning their sectional and are going to be strong contenders for the team title. Dunlap Middle School will also be in the mix for a team trophy as will any of the other sectional team champions--Dixon Reagan, Lindenhurst Millburn MS, Willowbrook Westview Hills, Moline Seton Catholic and Mt. Zion.

Boys Class 2A

Last year was the first year of the three class system and the Boys Class 2A team race produced one of the most memorable team finishes in the history of the IESA. Geneseo and Eureka tied for first with 116 points but on the strength of the best 6th place runner, Geneseo took home the team title. This year's team title may not be that close but it is very possible that there will only be a few points separating first place from third place. Based on sectional scoring alone, Moline Seton Academy might be the favorite. They won the Rushville sectional with just 18 points. Chicago Whitney Young returns again as a strong contender for the top team spot after capturing the team title in 2011 in the "old" Class 1A system. Geneseo could make some noise as they return to defend their team title. Also, after several years of not advancing as a team, perennial powerhouse Prospect Hts. MacArthur is once again competing for team honors. MacArthur dominated IESA cross country for many years in the 90's winning five team titles in a six year period. The individual title may very well go to Anthony Pena of Moline Seton Catholic. Pena finished in 5th place last year and won his sectional this year in a time of 10:54 at Lake Storey in Galesburg. Josh Cable from Rochester is the second highest returning finisher from last year. Cable placed 19th in last year's meet. Much like the team title, the individual Boys Class 2A title will be a wide open affair.

Girls Class 3A

The Class 3A Girls team title will be a very close competition. Lake Forest Deer Path, Batavia Rotolo, Belvidere Central, and Chatham Glenwood are going to be within a couple of points of each other when the team results are announced. Deer Path is led by a 7th grader, Lauren Garriques. She finished in 6th place last year as a 6th grader and she won her sectional last Saturday. Emma Stephens and Mary Grace Golden finished 1st and 2nd respectively at their sectional and will try and lead Batavia Rotolo to the team title. Stephens placed 9th last year and, Golden placed 7th in 2012. Belvidere Central scored just 21 points in winning their sectional last Saturday and is led by Sabrina Elder who won the sectional last Saturday. As a 7th grader last year, Elder finished in 66th place. Chatham Glenwood is as strong as ever and will be defending their 3A championship. They scored just 19 points at their sectional and were led by a 7th grader, Katie Held, who toured the course at SIU-E in 11:13. As a 6th grader, Held finished in 27th place. She will be a strong contender for the individual title. Perhaps the leader as the runners turn for home will be Suzanne Harms from Mt. Prospect Lincoln. Harms won her sectional last Saturday in Barrington with a time of 11:49 and as a 6th grader last year placed 2nd overall with a time of 11:39 on the Maxwell Park course. Another strong contender will be Katy Clausen from Normal Parkside. Just a 6th grader, Clausen's best time on her home course this year is 11:54.

Boys Class 3A

The Boys 3A team championship will once again be an extremely close competition with three teams and leading the way may very well be the Pythons of Normal Parkside who captured the team title a year ago. Parkside boasts a strong trio in Tyler Dunn, Tanner Gillam and Collin McQueen, Dunn and Gillam both finished in the top 10 last year when Parkside took home the team title with just 55 points and both are likely to be in the top 5 this year. Buffalo Grove Cooper returns after a year hiatus from the team competition and will be looking to make some noise in the team competition as will the boys from Batavia Rotolo. The boys from Chatham Glenwood will also be looking to take home some hardware. The individual race is going to be a classic. Mitchell Guittar from Wheeling London placed 5th last year and returns as a strong contender after winning his sectional. Zac Hutchinson from New Lenox Martino has already clocked a 10:37 on the Maxwell Park course earlier this year. He placed 9th last year in a time of 11:02. Tyler Dunn from Parkside has a season best 10:25 on his home course and Tanner Gillam is right behind with a season best of 10:29. Jared Schuckman from Normal Kingsley took home the sectional title last Saturday and he stamped himself as a title favorite with the win. Dan Powell clocked a 10:01 at his sectional at SIU-E last Saturday. Last year, as a 6th grader, Powell went 11:06 finishing in 13th place. However, they all might be chasing Jacob Gebhardt of Sterling Challand. He is the highest returning placer from last year when he finished in 3rd place with a time of 10:36. Sterling did not qualify as a team so Gebhardt will be running for individual honors only.

This is the 20th year the state meet has been held at Maxwell Park in Normal. Normal Parkside is the host for the state meet.

For more information, please contact the Cross Country Administrator, Steve Endsley at 309-829-0114 or

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