Cross country: Geneva's Rodgers, Batavia girls, Harvest Christian boys shine at sectionals

Daily Herald report
Updated 10/28/2017 6:55 PM

Geneva junior Joshua Rodgers claimed individual honors and led his team to a state-qualifying fourth place finish Saturday at the Class 3A Waubonsie Valley boys cross country sectional.

Rodgers finished the race in a time of 15:24, two seconds ahead of Oswego East senior Matt Blanco.

The Vikings scored 161 points to finish behind Neuqua Valley, Naperville Central and St. Charles East and just ahead of Batavia, which claimed the fifth and final team qualifying spot for next Saturday's state meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria.

Also scoring for Geneva were Ryan Kredell, Cole Montgomery, Matt Hoskins and Kellen Cesarone.

St. Charles East was led by Cole Adesso, Bob Liking, Aldan King, Bennett Malone and Campbell Koch.

Batavia's top runner was Adam Kennedy, followed by Shane Knanishu, Sean Adams, Damian Rodriguez and Chris Levario.

Also qualifying for state as individuals were Jacobs' Zach Albrecht, Marmion's Michael Ronzone and Huntley's Ian Geisler.

Class 3A girls at Waubonsie Valley: Batavia finished second as a team scoring 96 points. Naperville North (27) ran away with the championship. Oswego East, Naperville Central and Oswego earned the other team spots for state.

Sophomore Mia Gianfranesco was Batavia's top runner, finishing in a time of 18:17. Also scoring for the Bulldogs were senior Marygrace Golden, sophomore Erin O'Brien, freshman Jenna Schifferer and senior Erika Mansfield.

Qualifying as individuals were St. Charles East freshman Alice Abbott, St. Charles North junior Natalie Galvan and Geneva sophomore Andrine Larsen.

Class 1A boys at Lisle: The Harvest Christian boys cross country team will get a chance to defend its Class 1A state championship. The Lions roared past the competition at Saturday's Lisle sectional, scoring 37 points and placing all five of its scoring runners in the top 15. Senior Andrew Dobrescu led the way for Harvest, finishing second in a time of 15:49, 45 seconds behind Francis Parker's Jack MacNabola. Senior Mark Davila placed fourth for the Lions while freshman Matthew Olech was seventh, senior Connor Seals 10th and senior Kyler Young 14th. Harvest will attempt to win its second straight state title at Detweiller Park in Peoria next Saturday.

Class 3A boys at Hoffman Estates: Dundee-Crown made quite an impression on Saturday. Last year the Chargers finished in 12th place at the Waukegan sectional, but they would not be denied this season. D-C made a big end of season run by taking second at the Fox Valley Conference meet and adding a second-place finish at the Palatine regional. Junior Adam Swanson (15:33) and senior Anthony Hurgoi (15:35) kept thing rolling for the Dundee-Crown on Saturday by securing 22nd and 25th place powering the Chargers to the fifth and final qualifying spot and their first state appearance since 2007.

"It's huge," said first year D-C coach Jake Zappia of the Chargers run. "Last few weeks of training we have been really emphasizing working together as a team-it definitely came out today."

Junior Lucas Janikowski (15:39) kept the line moving by taking 32nd place followed by senior Joseph Devita (15:49) and junior Mark Jensen (15:54) who sealed the victory by taking 46th and 59th place to hold off a hard charging Palatine team that finish four points behind in sixth place.

"It's really special," said Swanson who was a new member of the team this year. "Conference and regionals definitely gave us confidence and it was an amazing job by all our guys today."

Class 1A girls at Lisle: Harvest Christian senior Nygia Pollard was the individual champion, running a time of 18:07. She led the Lions to second place as a team just 12 points behind champion Herscher. Also scoring for Harvest were freshman Carsen Forte, junior Hannah McHugh, junior Becca Gafrick and senior Cassidy Richter.

Class 3A girls at Hoffman Estates: Cary-Grove has made a nice postseason charge, including a Fox Valley Conference title and second-place finish at the Palatine regional.

The young Trojans took another step forward with their fourth-place finish on Saturday, earning their first state appearance since 2005.

"It's far beyond what we thought at the beginning of the season," said Cary-Grove coach Mark Anderson of his team's march to Peoria. "We just had to focus on ourselves today and let everything fall into place. We just wanted to run our race."

And that's what they did.

Sophomore Allison Drage (18:02) rebounded from some early-season iron issues to secure 11th place.

"It was like a nightmare before, but now I'm back," said Drage, whose fifth-place regional run set her up for her big sectional performance. "This is an incredible day. I've had patience and it all came together today."

A trio of freshmen then kept the line moving as Ellie Miller (18:30), Delaney Blohm (18:39) and Morgan Dieschbourg (18:40) connected to finish 26th, 31st, and 32nd.

But it was senior Libby Hansen (19:10) who keyed the victory by securing a critical 60th place, cementing the Trojans push to state.

"She stepped up big when we needed it," added Anderson of the lone senior runner on a squad that features three sophomore and three freshmen.

Michael Eaken contributed to this report

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