STERLING — For the second straight season, the Rochelle girls cross country team will be competing for a sectional championship.
The Lady Hubs took sixth place with 176 points in the IHSA 2A Regional at Hoover Park on Saturday to qualify for a spot at the 2A Sectional in Belvidere on Nov. 2. Senior Britney Baez led Rochelle in the girls race, finishing 20th with a time of 20:24 while sophomore Sara Johnson ran a personal-best time of 21:36 for 31st place and freshman Yuelma Ortiz added a personal-record time of 22:44 for 38th place.
“Our girls team ran very well today, with three of our six runners setting new PRs,” head coach Mark Zilis said. “Four of our seven boys ran their PRs, but it just wasn't enough without a runner finishing near the front.”
The Hubs placed eighth with 202 points at the regional championship. Sophomore Josue Huerta led Rochelle with a personal-best time of 17:58 to take 36th place while junior Aiden Seldal clocked in at a personal-best 18:07 for 40th place. Seniors Tucker Louis (18:16), Seth Gould (18:40) and freshman David Wanner (18:42) all recorded top-50 finishes in the regional race.
“Our usual top runner, Santi Cordoba, gave it his best, but is recovering from an illness and just could not produce his usual top-flight finish,” Zilis said. “Josue just missed qualifying as an individual by one place. Still, I am proud of the effort that our boys team produced at the meet.”