2008 Illinois Class A Cross Country
IL Dyestat Rankings
Team Rankings(final regular season)
2. Bloomington Central Catholic
3. Rockford Lutheran
5. Rock Falls
6. St. Joseph-Ogden
7. Decatur St. Teresa
12. Petersburg PORTA
Class A Girls State RecapIt was a windy cold day that started off the first race of the morning. On the individual side of the race, Stephanie Brown of Tri Valley raced to the front of the pack and led through the first mile of the race. Behind her, Kelly Curran of Bloomington Central Catholic, Kristen and Caitlin Busch of Freeburg, Kalla Gold of Eureka, and Sarah Kortze of Rockford Lutheran helped make up some of the second large pack of runners that were following Brown. The quick pace eventually led to Brown falling back. Slowly, Kelly Curran and Sarah Kortze began to separate themselves from the pack and by the two-mile mark, it looked like it would be a race to the finish for a state championship. Curran eventually took the championship with a time of 17:27, which tied Olivia Klaus of Eureka’s record from last year. Sarah Kortze ended up finishing second with a time of 17:43. Kristen Garwood (17:51), Kristen Busch (17:52), and Kalla Gold (17:54) rounded out the top five.
On the team trophy side, the favorites, Elmwood-Brimfield, looked ready to start on the path of a state championship with their new black and white uniforms. At the start of the race, Winnebago and Elmwood-Brimfield pushed up to the top of the packs and ran a nice comfortable pace through the first mile. As runners from both teams jockeyed for position, Alex Palm of Winnebago began to put herself in front with the top ten runners in the race. Elmwood-Brimfield packed their runners together led by a great performance of Kayla Christ who ended up placing sixteenth overall. In the end, it was Alex Palm’s sixth place finish that helped Winnebago shock the field by taking the championship by four points over Elmwood-Brimfield, 115-119. Winnebago, who was missing one of their top runners in Hayley Thomas, put together a great race at the right time.
Class A State Preview
Class A Girls Team and Individual RankingsTeam Rankings
1. Elmwood-Brimfield – Elmwood Brimfield won the Elmwood Sectional by a sizable margin over Eureka on Saturday. They have a great pack of runners that make them tough to beat on any course.
2. Rockford Lutheran – Rockford Lutheran won the Aurora Christian Sectional over Winnebago. Led by sectional champion, Sarah Kortze, they looked strong on their way to the championship.
3. Bloomington Central Catholic – Bloomington Central Catholic won the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Sectional over some strong competition. They look like a lock for a state trophy if they can duplicate their finish at sectionals.
4. Winnebago – Winnebago finished in second place behind Rockford Lutheran at the Aurora Christian Sectional. They were running without Hayley Thomas due to an illness. If she runs, they will get a trophy, but if she does not, it will be hard to get a trophy with the how deep state is this year.
5. Eureka – Eureka had a great performance from freshmen Kalla Gold to help them finish in second place behind Elmwood-Brimfield at the Elmwood Sectional on Saturday. They could be a team that could sneak into the top three if any of the teams above them has a bad race.
6. St. Joseph-Ogden – St. Joseph-Ogden finished in second at the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Sectional behind Bloomington Central Catholic. They have two great frontrunners that need to bring along their 3-5 in order to finish in the top five at state.
7. Rock Falls – Rock Falls finished in third place at the Aurora Christian Sectional on Saturday. They will need to match this week’s results if they want to break into the top ten at state.
8. Tremont – Tremont continues to run well late in the year. They finished behind two top Class A schools to finish third overall at the Elmwood Sectional on Saturday. They are a team that should finish in the top ten if they have a good race.
9. Decatur St. Teresa – Decatur St. Teresa finished third behind Bloomington Central Catholic and St. Joseph-Ogden at the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Sectional on Saturday. Their young team continues to improve each week and should make it into the top ten this year.
10. Petersburg PORTA – PORTA finished in fourth behind Tremont at the Elmwood Sectional. Led by Claire Brown, they will push for a top ten finish if they can put together a good race.
11. Aurora Christian – Aurora Christian surprised some people with their fourth place finish at the Aurora Christian Sectional on Saturday. They are a team that always seems to run well late and with the help of freshman Sarina Oleson, they could push into the top ten.
12. Freeburg – Freeburg seems to be running well at the moment and are led by Kristen and Caitlin Busch. If their top two can break into the top 25, they will have an excellent chance at making the top ten at state.
13. Monmouth-Roseville – Monmouth-Roseville is somewhat of an enigma so far this year. They have been very inconsistent, but if this team can put together a great race, a top ten finish isn’t out of the question.
14. Durand – Durand is another young team that has really come together at the end of the year. With Beth Michaelis pushing the team forward, they should be a lock for a top 15 performance at state.
15. Sparta – Sparta is a team that has been quietly putting together a very strong season all year long. With a great performance like last week in Edwardsville, they should crack the top 15 easily.
Best of the rest: Shelbyville, Tri Valley, Metro East Lutheran, Columbia, Nashville
1. Sarah Kortze (Rockford Lutheran) – Kortze has been running well all season long and looks like a solid lock for the Class A Individual Champion. She should put together a great race to cement herself as one of the state’s best.
2. Kalla Gold (Eureka) – There are not many amazing stories like Kalla Gold this year. She has quietly emerged as one of the top runners in the state in her first year of cross country. She could surprise everybody and win the whole thing with a great strategy.
3. Kelly Curran (Bloomington Central Catholic) – Curran is another runner who has had a lot of success throughout the season and will look to keep it going at the state meet. She is another runner who could put together a great race and become the state champ.
4. Stephanie Brown (Tri Valley) – Brown has looked dominant throughout the season, but in the last few weeks, she has faltered a bit to get beat by some quality runners. Look for her to rebound and challenge for the title.
5. Kristen Garwood(Springfield Lutheran) – Garwood finished in second behind Kalla Gold at the Elmwood Sectional on Saturday. If she runs the same as she did on Saturday, a top ten performance will be a lock for her.
6. Alex Palm (Winnebago) – Palm has been a great cross country runner the last three years and will look to add more hardware to trophy case. She always seems to put together a great performance at the state meet and this year should be no different.
7. Victoria Castaneda (Rock Falls) – Castaneda is another great story from the past few years. Last year, she dealt with some health issues, which caused her to have a rough end to her season. This year she looks to be back and ready to make a push at the top five. I wouldn’t look past this girl at the state meet.
8. Shelbie Pettie (Sherrard) – Pettie has been running well all season long and looks to have returned from some health issues and injuries from last year to become one of the state’s best. A great race will make her a lock for the top ten.
9. Kerry Pelton (Bloomington Central Catholic) – The emergence of Kerry Pelton this year has really made her team a tough one to face all year. Her success will continue at state this week with a top ten performance and hopefully a state trophy for her team.
10. Ana Garcia (Walther Lutheran) – Garcia finished fourth overall at the Aurora Christian Sectional on Saturday and will look to keep this top five performance going into the state meet. While she is a very talented runner, I think it will be rough for her to break into the top five even with a great race.
11. Lydia Smith (Canton) – Smith is another season who has been running strong all year long. She has beaten many good individuals along the way this year and that experience will push her to succeed at the state meet this year with an attempt at a top ten performance.
12. Jacki McKown(Elmwood-Brimfield) – McKown will look to lead her team to the state championship and with her leading the pack, Elmwood-Brimfield will be a lock for the state trophy.
13. Crystal Wells (Carmi-White County) – Wells has put together some very good runs this year. If she can duplicate these races in big meets at the state course, she will make it into the top fifteen.
14. Ladi Stallard (Olney East Richland) – Stallard finished third overall at the Metro East Lutheran Sectional on Saturday. She will push for a top fifteen performance this year.
15. Julia Buford (Chicago Latin) – Buford surprised the field at the Aurora Christian Sectional on Saturday with a top five performance. She will attempt to show that it was not a fluke with a top 20 performance at state.
16. Chelsea Blaase (St. Joseph-Ogden) – Blaase will need a top twenty performance to help her team fight for a trophy. If she can bring her team with her, she will push her team for a shot at the trophy.
17. Katelyn Duckett (Shelbyville) – Duckett will fight for a top twenty slot if she can put together a good race at state. She will try to help lead her team to a top fifteen performance at state.
18. Tessa Copple (Elmwood-Brimfield) – Copple will have to fight to get a top twenty performance if she wants to help get her team a chance at the championship.
19. Haley Briggs (Argenta-Oreana) – Briggs’ successful season up to this point will help her as she fights to get a top twenty spot at the state meet. If she can hold her pace, she will definitely make herself a lock for All-State.
20. Kayla Christ (Elmwood-Brimfield) – Christ will be another Elmwood-Brimfield runner who will help increase her team’s chances for a state championship with an All-State performance.
Best of the rest: Beth Michaelis (Durand), Katie Jensen (Lena-Winslow), Sidney Long (St. Joseph-Ogden), Ellen Devereux (Decatur St. Teresa), and Sarina Oleson (Aurora Christian)
2008 Illinois Class A Sectional Predictions
Aurora Christian Sectional1. Winnebago – Winnebago should win this sectional very easily. They should realistically put three in the top six places if Megan Skaggs can show that her regional race was a fluke. This is one of the best teams in the state of Illinois.
2. Rockford Lutheran – Rockford Lutheran finished second behind Winnebago at the Winnebago Regional on Saturday. Led by possible sectional champion, Sarah Kortze, they should easily make it out of the sectional.
3. Rock Falls – Rock Falls has been running well all year long and hope to continue this trend into the sectional. They ran away with the Rock Falls Regional on Saturday. Barring their top three running a terrible race, they should also make it out of the sectional.
4. Aurora Christian – Aurora Christian has quietly been doing well throughout the season. Led by Sarina Oleson’s first place finish, they dominated at the Seneca Regional and hope to keep this success going through sectionals.
5. Byron – Byron is a team that consistently runs well late in the year and this team is no different. They should run well enough to grab the fifth and final spot out of sectionals.
1. Sarah Kortze (Rockford Lutheran) – won the Winnebago Regional on Saturday against one of the best runners in the state, Katie Jensen of Lena-Winslow, who had to be taken away in an ambulance after the race.
2. Ana Garcia (Walther Lutheran) – Garcia is another runner who has taken on some of the better teams up North and consistently runs well. She is definitely someone not to take lightly in this race.
3. Natalie D’ Agostino (Immaculate Conception) – surprised a lot of people last year with her fourth place finish last year on the same course. She should perform even better this year.
4. Alexandria Palm (Winnebago) – Palm was the sectional champ last year at the same course. She has led Winnebago almost the entire year as their number one runner and should cement herself as the number one this meet also. She could challenge for the top spot also.
5. Victoria Castaneda (Rock Falls) – Castaneda had a brilliant performance at the Rock Falls Regional by winning by 17 seconds over the second place finisher. She will definitely challenge for the top five at sectionals.
6. Katie Jensen (Lena-Winslow) – Jensen has been one of the best runners in the entire state this year but dealt with some serious issues at the regionals and almost had to drop out. She was later taken away in an ambulance. Hopefully, this runner can rebound from this and make the top seven.
7. Chantalle Falconer (Byron) – continues to run well late in the year. She has led her team to a third place finish at a very tough regional meet and looks to keep her team moving through to state.
Edwardsville (Metro-East Lutheran) Sectional1. Sparta – Sparta has run great all year long and they will look to continue winning at the sectional meet on Saturday. Their 1-5 split was 67 seconds at the Chester Regional as they took the championship. They will be tough to beat at sectionals.
2. Freeburg – Freeburg has a great top two runners and their 3-5 finished in the top ten at the Carlinville Regional. If they can put together a great race, they will be a tough team to beat.
3. Columbia – Columbia is another team that tends to put together a great pack and finish strong in any race. They should be able to put together a strong race and make it out of sectionals.
4. Nashville – Nashville has a strong front two and needs to get a bit steadier on the back end of their team. If they can put together a strong race, they should make it out of the sectionals easily.
5. Metro East Lutheran – Metro East Lutheran finished second behind Freeburg at the Carlinville Regional on Saturday. If they can duplicate their performance at sectionals, they should be the fifth and final team to make it out.
1. Kristen Busch (Freeburg) – Busch has run well all year long and the freshman easily won the Carlinville Regional on Saturday. She is the type of runner who seems to get better each week and looks to be the favorite at sectionals.
2. Ladi Stallard (Olney) – Stallard won by 16 seconds at the Olney (East Richland) Regional meet over Crystal Wells of Carmi-White County. She has ran exceptionally well all year long and could challenge for the top spot at the sectional.
3. Crystal Wells (Carmi-White County) – Wells finished just behind Ladi Stallard of Olney at the Olney Regional on Saturday. Crystal Wells has put together a very good year in the southern part of the state and hopes to have a chance to show the rest of the state how good she really is.
4. Caitlin Busch (Freeburg) – Busch finished just behind her sister at the Carlinville Regional on Saturday. This one-two combo helps Freeburg a lot at these meets and should continue to help them at sectionals.
5. Aleigh Eggemeyer (Sparta) – Eggemeyer has been running well and should be a contender for the sectional championship. If they can keep their pack together, they should easily win the sectional.
6. Breanna Bergbower (Webber) – Bergbower finished third behind Stallard and Wells at the Olney Regional on Saturday. She will look to break into the top seven at the sectional meet.
7. Kara Montanez (Carrollton) – Montanez ran well enough to place third overall behind the Busch girls at the Carlinville Regional on Saturday. She needs to get up with that pack and finish strong to make it into the top seven.
Elmwood Sectional1. Elmwood-Brimfield – Elmwood-Brimfield is really running tough right now. Their pack gets better and better each week. They should win the sectional easily over the competition and will be one of the teams to beat at state.
2. Eureka – With the improved running of Kalla Gold and Deidra Klaus, Eureka is really coming on strong late in the year. If they can get their 4 and 5 to move up, they could challenge Elmwood-Brimfield for the sectional title.
3. Tremont – Tremont has run really well all year and they will look to keep this trend going at the Elmwood Sectional. They have a good pack of runners that should keep them towards the top and help them make it to the state meet.
4. Petersburg (PORTA) – Petersburg PORTA, led by Claire Brown, has always been a team the runs well at the end of the year. Their win at the Franklin Regional over Pleasant Plains showed that they are a quality team and should finish in the top five at sectionals.
5. Monmouth-Roseville – Monmouth-Roseville has run well over the last few years and should continue to run well at the sectional meet. Having a runner like Ciara Marlow doesn’t hurt their chances.
1. Kristen Garwood (Springfield Lutheran) – has been running well all year long and should continue this trend into the sectional meet. Unless she has a bad race, she should win the sectional championship.
2. Kalla Gold (Eureka) – has run exceptionally well late in the year and looks like the real deal as a freshman. Brett Charlton has coached many great runners in his career and Kalla looks to be the next in line of greats.
3. Lydia Smith (Canton) - Smith is another runner who has run great all year long. She will look to push the pace and take the top spot at the sectional meet. She is definitely one to watch as the postseason moves forward.
4. Deidra Klaus (Eureka) – Deidra Klaus has really stepped it up the last couple of weeks to really help her team move up. She has plenty of experience in these meets and should be up to the challenge of a top five finish at the meet.
5. Shelbie Pettie (Sherrard) – has returned from all the injuries and setbacks from last year to become one of the better runners in the state this year. She always seems to step up in the big meets and this should be no different.
6. Tiffany Draughan (Athens) – Draughan should compete for a top seven finish at the sectional meet with all her experience in past big meets. She will need to bring her teammates with her if they will make it out of the sectional meet.
7. Claire Brown (Petersburg PORTA) –finished third behind Garwood and Draughan at the Franklin Regional on Saturday. She looks ready for a big race this weekend.
Paxton-Buckley-Loda Sectional1. Bloomington Central Catholic – Bloomington Central Catholic looked strong winning the Monticello Regional on Saturday. They have the front runner in Kelly Curran to make a big statement at the sectionals and also state.
2. St. Joseph-Ogden – St. Joseph-Ogden has ran exceptionally well the last few weeks and took the St. Joseph-Ogden Regional on Saturday. With such a young team, they can really be a surprising team this time of the year.
3. Decatur St. Teresa – Decatur St. Teresa gave Bloomington Central Catholic a good race and looked ready for the next step at sectionals. It wouldn’t surprise me if this team only gets better as we get closer to the state meet with all their young runners.
4. Altamont – Altamont ran really well to take the Robinson Regional over a good Shelbyville team. They have a nice group of runners that seem to be getting better each meet.
5. Shelbyville – Shelbyville has two young runners in Katelyn Duckett and Alicia Pizzo that continue to put up some great times. If they can finish high and keep their pack together on the back end, there is no reason why they shouldn’t make it out.
1. Kelly Curran (Bloomington Central Catholic) – Curran looks to be really putting together some great times this year and she looked strong beating Stephanie Brown at the Monticello Regional on Saturday. She leads a strong team into the sectional and onward to state.
2. Stephanie Brown (Downs Tri-Valley) – Brown has put together some great races this year, but she finished second to Kelly Curran at the Monticello Regional on Saturday. She is a tough runner and will use that meet as motivation on her way back to state.
3. Liz Wortman (Effingham St. Anthony) – Wortman has been running well all year long and she looks ready to make the next step. If she puts together a great race, it wouldn’t shock me if she challenged for the sectional championship.
4. Katelyn Duckett (Shelbyville) – Duckett is another runner who has ran well all year long. For a freshmen, she looks like someone who could be really good for years to come. While she is good, I don’t think she will challenge for the championship but a top five finish isn’t out of the question.
5. Haley Briggs (Argenta-Oreana) – looks to be running some great times and could put together a great race at sectionals. She finished third behind Curran and Brown at the Monticello Regional on Saturday.
6. Chelsea Blaase (St. Joseph-Ogden) – Blaase has ran some great races recently and it appears she will keep this trend going on her way through sectionals.
7. Sidney Long (St. Joseph-Ogden) – Long was held out of the regional race on Saturday due to some soreness, but she should be back and ready to go at sectionals. She helps St. Joseph-Ogden have a great one-two punch at sectionals.
Contact Class A editor Nick Hartz for questions and comments at [email protected]