Sherrard and Rockridge girls and boys advance to Elmwood Sectional

Robert Blackford/Editor
Rocket Coby Merritts-Armey places sixth overall at the Rockridge Regional Saturday, Oct. 25.

 The Sherrard and Rockridge girls and boys won spots in the Elmwood Sectional by placing at the Rockridge Regional Saturday, Oct. 25. The top five teams advance.

The scoring for the girls' teams: Monmouth-Roseville, 29; Sherrard, 75; Rockridge, 79; Orion, 107; Kewanee-Wethersfield, 137; AlWood/ROWVA, 143; Princeville, 164 and Kewanee, 208.

Scoring for the boys' teams were Henry-Senachwine, 57; Rockridge, 64; Monmouth-Roseville, 72; Sherrard, 105; Kewanee, 114; Kewanee-Wethersfield, 148 and AlWood/ROWVA, 148.

Individuals advancing on the girls' side were: Ravin Petry, Henry-Senachwine; Mary Brokaw, West Central; Miranda Biddle, Aledo-Westmer; and Kara Howell, Riverdale.

Individuals advancing on the boys' side were: Sam Whan, Aledo-Westmer; Kasey Potts, AlWood-ROWVA; Adam Simonson, AlWood/ROWVA; Nick Wager, Kewanee-Wethersfield and Luke Owens, Orion.

Girls

Shelbie Pettie turned in the winning time for the girls with a time of 19:52 which was 27 seconds ahead of Monmouth-Roseville's Ciara Marlow, 20:19.

Pettie said "I like running in the cold. The team's going to sectionals. It's exciting. I feel good. At mid-summer I wasn't feeling too good but I'm starting to peak at the right time."

Pettie added, "I feel I've been running here forever. Whenever it's hot out it's dreadful. It's nice when it’s cold out."

The results of the meet were delayed for two separate reasons. One of the runner's tags wasn't collected at the finished of the race and officials had to review the taped finish to discover where the runner finished. There was another problem as meet officials called the IHSA for a clarification.

"Two girls from Henry-Senachwine accidentally switched their numbers," said Rockridge Athletic Director Scott Striegel. "We called IHSA and got a clarification." Striegel said they spoke with Ron McGraw from the IHSA who told them as long as they were satisfied they could identify the two girls, they didn't need to disqualify them.

Rockridge coach Sue Miller's team will be advancing. "I'm really proud with the way the girls ran today. I know we advanced. That's the main thing."

Sherrard coach Joel Bohnsack said, "The girls ran great as a team. They finished strong and did a great job today. We had a slow start with a lot of meets getting cancelled. Some people made some incredible progress. We had some new girls step up."

Aledo-Westmer coach Randi Russell noted, "We only had four girls finish. We knew we were going to be on the edge for advancing. I'm happy Miranda (Biddle) is moving on to sectionals. She finished 11th overall. She's been our number one runner all year and she really stepped up today."

Kewanee-Wethersfield coach Creston Fenn said, "The girls ran a really good race. Megan McIntire went after it early to get to sections. She finished in the top 15. Dani Rosevbeck ran well. This is the first year ever for the program. They learned from every single race. I was very proud of them."

Kewanee coach Chad Palm said, "I thought we ran really hard and everybody gave a great effort. The times were going down. I couldn't have been happier. I'm very pleased with what they did today. It was a strong effort."

Rosa Perez had a strong effort. That sets her up for next year. Devon Harris had injured her ankle. Andrea Nyert ran her best three miles of the year. Sapphire Mitchell through some heath issues this year.

Boys

Kenny Swartz and Tom Shimp of Henry-Senachwine placed first and second on the boys' side with times of 17:17.0 and 17:20.0.

"We had three boys running. They all had good times," said Aledo-Westmer's Russell. "Sam finished seventh overall. The other two had great times. This is the first time we've run here."

Russell added, "I'm happy with the finish. I just want to grow the team. I want to recruit more individuals for next year. All of our kids had real competitive spirit."  

Bohnsack said, "We had some boys who are starting to come around. Teddy Brzys has been running with a hurt knee. Nathan Baker has run strong all year."

Palm said, "I was excited about top five finish of Allen Nelson. Everything from there was jumbled up the middle. Jason Hinkins had a strong run. Tyler Nelson, our second runner last week filled the third runner spot. That was one of those surprises. David Hood stepped up as a number five runner. He is usually in the 6-7 spot. I like to see a solid effort out of the first year guys."

Fenn said, "I knew there was an outside chance we move on. We run in two tight packs. We don't have a frontrunner yet. They knew they had to work together to have a chance of going on. They worked their butts off all year. It's amazing how this group got together. We started out with about three kids this summer. We ended with 14-15 kids. I want a big team. I can't complain about anything about this group. They've had a lot of firsts. We were at meets with 45 other teams. This year was definitely a learning experience. We will learn a lot more every single year.

Shelbie Pettie crosses the finish line first at the Rockridge Regional Saturday, Oct. 25 in Edgington.