Cross Country: Baez medals in Interstate 8 Conference Championships

The Rochelle cross country team saw four girls earn awards for their performances in the Interstate 8 Conference Championships on Saturday. Above from left to right are Morgan West, Britney Baez, Sara Johnson and Yuelma Ortiz. (Courtesy photo)

Fresh-soph girls take second as three runners earn ribbons

MORRIS — The Rochelle cross country team brought home several awards from the Interstate 8 Conference Championships hosted by Morris High School on Saturday.

Senior Britney Baez placed eighth with a personal-best time of 20:13.6 in the varsity girls race to earn an All-Conference medal. The fresh-soph girls finished second with 47 points behind ribbon winners Sara Johnson (second in 21:56), Yuelma Ortiz (10th in 23:35) and Morgan West (14th in 25:17). The varsity boys took sixth and the fresh-soph boys also finished sixth.

“I was really proud because I also recorded another PR,” Baez said. “It was a nice confidence boost to finish in the top 10 at the conference meet. What helped a lot was after coach pushed us through our hard workouts… We had a rest week for our legs and we were able to get our bodies to where they need to be, and that helped me earn my PR.”

Senior Tucker Louis placed 26th with a time of 18:35 in the varsity boys race while junior Aiden Seldal finished 19th in 18:54 and freshman David Wanner took 31st in 19:05. Senior Seth Gould landed one spot behind Wanner, placing 32nd in 19:20. Rochelle will send both its boys and girls teams to the IHSA Class 2A Regional at Hoover Park in Sterling on Saturday, Oct. 26.

“Finally, we were able to race under great weather conditions,” head coach Mark Zilis said. “Overall, our team performed well with many of our athletes setting season's bests or new PRs. The boys team was hampered by missing two of our top runners. Yet, all who ran produced great efforts and many PRs.”

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