3A Normal Community Sectional Preview

There could be some mind-blowing performances in central Illinois on Saturday


Date: Saturday, November 2

Race times: Girls- 11:00a; Boys-12:00p

Location: Maxwell Park; Normal, IL-

#10 Minooka is the team to watch here as they have a solid top three that are all capable of placing in the top 10. There will be two keys for the Indians this week though as one will be getting top runner Jason Hoffman back to his usual self. He hasn't run-up to his capability since clocking 15:01 at the Naperville Twilight Invitational. The other key for the Indians will be making sure their 5th runner stays as close to their 4th runner Daniel Schalk and the pack as possible. Last week Nate Chaidez and Emerson Fayman both did a great job of that with each runner being within 10 and 13 seconds respectfully of Schalk. If the Indians can do the same thing for the next two weeks then they will be a threat for the rest of the state. #21 Edwardsville, Lincoln-Way Central, Yorkville, Lincoln-Way East, and Pekin will all be battling it out for those final four positions with Edwardsville and Yorkville looking to be a lock to make it back to Detweiller. 

The race to the finish is guaranteed to be a great one. Brett Gardner of Lincoln-Way East may be a slight favorite over close friend Jared Kreis of Lincoln-Way Central, but it might as well be a pick 'em. Although Gardner has gotten the best of Kreis in most of their matchups, both runners are legitimate title contenders and a direct threat to defending state champion Josh Methner of Hersey.

Please don't forget about local favorite Charlie Wetzel of Normal Community West who has really regained a lot of momentum coming into this state series. After a 4th place performance at the Peoria Invite running 14:37, Wetzel has looked to be in much better shape than he was to start the year. Coming off a rocky performance at the Minooka Regional after nearly losing the race to the emerging Jay Dworak of Joliet Central expect a much more focused Wetzel. 

 #4 Yorkville has been a powerhouse team over the past decade starting with 2A where they won multiple state championships. The Foxes have been particularly stellar in 3A with a flurry of state trophies on their mantle. This team is a heavy favorite to advance to Peoria if they can just maintain as they did at the Minooka Regional with a perfect score. They have all of their players back, particularly pre-season top runner Kailey Fox. Minooka, O'Fallon, Lincoln-Way Central, Normal Community, and Pekin are the next best teams expected to move on. 

The individual race should be a competitive one with the odds going in Helena Kleronomos' favor. The junior from Yorkville is the big money name in the field with the longest resume. Kleronomos is surging after two straight wins in the SPC Conference Meet and the 3A Minooka Regional. Edwardsville freshman Riley Knoyle is the young up and comer that is looking to dethrone the veteran in her first sectional appearance. Knoyle is definitely a girl that can take it to Kleronomos this weekend.