The Illinois State Cross Country Championship Continues To Impress

Class 2A- 

Jenna Schwartz pulled away from the her competition late in the final mile

There was no real definitive favorite for the middle class individual title. But there were several solid choices to pick from. Shanice Garbutt (Sr., Danville) was one. But so was Campbell Petersen (Fr., Dunlap), Madison Diercks (So., Belvidere North), and Jenna Schwartz (Jr., Waterloo).

This collective group would go out relatively safe the first mile in 5:30-5:35. But after approaching the second mile it was Schwartz with a commanding presence followed by Garbutt in 11:20. 

Schwartz had endured some heartache not being able to finish off races this season. This time she was able to concentrate in the final 400 despite her form folding quite a bit. The final time was a personal record and classification season 17:05.

In the process, Schwartz was able to avenge her only two losses of the season at Detweiller. In addition, she joined her father Nick Schwartz, a former all-state cross country runner and state champion miler in 1988.

Campbell Petersen completed her freshman campaign for Dunlap in great fashion taking second over Danville senior Shanice Garbutt in 17:14. Petersen stormed past Garbutt just before the finish line. 

Another freshman Brooke Stromsland of Lakes was a big suprise finishing 4th. Stromsland was up front with the leaders for most of the race and dropped nearly a minute off of her previous best effort in running 17:15.

Urbana sophomore Olivia Rosenstein continued her impressive round of racing from the track season to the fall harrier season with a 5th place finish in 17:16. She turned back freshman Lyndsey Wolters of Normal U High to get inside the exclusive club.

1Jenna Schwartz11Waterloo High School17:05.001
2Campbell Petersen9Dunlap High School17:14.002
3Shanice Garbutt12Danville High School17:14.000
4Brooke Stromsland9Lakes High School17:15.003
5Olivia Rosenstein10Urbana High School17:16.004
6Lyndsey Wolters9Normal University High School17:18.000
7Gianna Sagona10Belvidere North High School17:21.005

Pre-season #1 Dunlap had a goal to win their first state championship as soon as they collected their runner up trophy last November. The Eagles returned a loaded distance corps that enabled them to win last spring's state 2A track and field championship. Aside from experience, depth, hunger, and a strong mindset, this team had a true frontrunner as a guaranteed low stick for her team. Indeed, newcomer Campbell Petersen made good on her middle school domination and showed many experienced high schoolers that she would be a force in her initial season. Petersen zoned in on Garbutt over the final meters to snatch second. The placement would spawn a 1:17 scoring split and 72 point effort that was 23 points better than #2 Belvidere North. Gianna Sagona took 6th to lead the former champion Blue Streaks. #3 Vernon Hills kept pace with their season prediction and earned the third place trophy scoring 111 points. Senior Lauren Katz led the way with a 11th place finish. 

Jake Gebhardt tried to perform a getaway around the 2 mile mark, but it was for not

The individual race was supposed to be between Jake Gebhardt (Sr., Sterling) and Matthew Richtman (Sr., Kaneland). And it was. But early on there was a bandit named Brett Haffner (Sr., Hinsdale South) that created a little drama with a 4:42 opening mile. His adventure was short lived though. Gebhardt, Richtman, and Jack Becker (Sr., Crystal Lake South) would take control of the race inside of the "Bermuda Triangle." They hit the 2nd mile in 9:39. Finally, Gebhardt and Richtman would battle it out all the way to the end as they had in two previous contests. Ultimately it would be Richtman coming home for the win in a smashing 14:23. Gebhardt had the same time but probably with a few tenths back. Becker was third.

1Matthew Richtman12Kaneland High School14:23.001
2Jacob Gebhardt12Sterling High School14:23.000
3Jack Becker12Crystal Lake South High School14:31.000
4Mathias Powell11Mahomet-Seymour High School14:45.002
5Austin Ohm12Illiana Christian High School14:47.003
6Riley Fortune12Mahomet-Seymour High School14:48.004
7Stephen Poorten12Sycamore High School14:56.005

As with their female counterparts, it was pretty academic who would finish first and second in the team standings. #1 Normal U High and #2 Mahomet-Seymour were the dominant teams all season and there was sense in changing that status now. 

Mahomet-Seymour laid out a spanking on Normal U High at the Normal West Sectional last weekend and they had the momentum coming in. It would be the same outcome primarily because the Bulldogs top three runners were just too strong. Mathias Powell, Riley Fortune, and Ryan Hodge placed 2nd, 4th, and 7th in the team scoring and that was just too much for the Pioneers to handle. And as it was predicted, if Mahomet-Seymour got a 1:00-10 scoring split it would be over. And it was.

1Mahomet-Seymour High School902+4+7+27+50 (89+128)1:09 1-5 Split | 15:13 Avg
2Normal University High School1126+17+22+32+35 (64+93)0:49 1-5 Split | 15:29 Avg
3Sycamore High School1495+19+24+40+61 (76+79)1:08 1-5 Split | 15:34 Avg
4Springfield High School19511+31+41+54+58 (94+130)0:49 1-5 Split | 15:45 Avg
5Chatham-Glenwood High School22816+26+47+69+70 (81+97)0:54 1-5 Split | 15:49 Avg