Cross Country: Rochelle runners set multiple PRs against Morris

Junior Emily Garcia and the Lady Hubs raced against Morris on Tuesday, with four girls setting new personal records. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Three Hubs break 19-minute mark, Ortiz surging for Lady Hubs

MORRIS — Several runners with the Rochelle Township High School cross country team set new personal records on Tuesday, when the Hubs and Lady Hubs raced against the Morris Redskins on the 3-mile course at Morris High School.

Three boys broke the 19-minute mark including senior Aiden Seldal, who placed fourth and led Rochelle with a time of 18:36. Sophomore David Wanner finished sixth in 18:47 and junior Luke Orlikowski ran a personal-best time of 18:48 to take seventh in the race. Morris defeated the Hubs (4-6, 1-5 Interstate 8) 19-30 while the Lady Hubs (3-6, 1-5 Interstate 8) fell 18-43.

“I think our hard work is paying off and we’re seeing gradual improvements throughout the entire team,” head coach Mark Zilis said. “It was a nice course for us to run and I think everybody was excited to run yesterday. I thought the kids ran pretty well.”

Junior Josue Huerta and freshman Alex Burke rounded out Rochelle’s top five boys Tuesday, finishing 12th and 13th with times of 19:23 and 19:31. Sophomore Yuelma Ortiz led the Lady Hub harriers against Morris, surging late in her race to place third with a personal-best time of 22:28. Sophomores Ahtziri Zepeda and Karina Lopez weren’t far behind, taking eighth and ninth with respective times of 23:54 and 23:58, a personal best for Lopez.

“Yuelma continues to improve in every race she runs,” Zilis said. “We talked about race strategy and she held back during the first mile before really turning it on over the second and third miles. She was running in sixth or seventh place before overtaking everybody but the top two girls. Ahtziri ran a pretty good race and Karina continues to improve as well.”

Rochelle will race against Kaneland next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. before competing in a three-team meet with Oregon and Newman Central Catholic at Oregon Park West on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

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