LAKE VILLA — Throughout her cross country career, Rochelle Township High School runner Sara Johnson has always found a way to finish each season with her strongest times. That was the case once again this past weekend, when Johnson represented the Lady Hubs as Rochelle’s lone competitor during the IHSA 2A Lake Villa (Lakes) Sectional on Saturday.
Johnson completed the sectional race with a time of 21:43.72, her fastest time of any cross country meet she ran this season. It was the third time Johnson had raced in a sectional meet after helping the Lady Hubs reach sectionals as a team during each of the past two seasons. Johnson improved on her IHSA 2A Regional time by six seconds and she outpaced her performance at the Interstate 8 Conference Championships by nearly a whole minute.
“I thought I did very well overall,” Johnson said. “I felt like my first 2 miles were my best miles of the season. The third mile was good, but the wind proved to be a challenge. The course was fairly level with a few challenges along the way. There was mulch on certain parts of the course that made running a bit harder, and the wind picked up as the race progressed.”
Johnson became Rochelle’s first three-time sectional qualifier from the girls team since Katherine Bakken (2017-19). As she prepares for her upcoming track season and her senior cross country season, Johnson said her goals include returning to sectionals for a fourth time.
“I’ll be continuing to maintain and improve my performance over the offseason as I prepare for the track season,” Johnson said. “My goals for next season are to compete in my fourth sectional meet and cut down my time by at least a minute. Another goal I have is to encourage more girls to come out for the team. To reach these, I will need to focus during the offseason.”