Cross Country: Rochelle wraps up season at IHSA 2A Sectional

The Rochelle girls cross country team sent four runners to the IHSA 2A Sectional in Belvidere this past Saturday. Above from left to right are coach Dale Bergeson, Ahtziri Zepeda, Emily Garcia, Sara Johnson, Britney Baez and head coach Mark Zilis. (Photo by Marcy DeLille)

Baez records top time for Lady Hubs in Belvidere

BELVIDERE — The Lady Hubs have raced through tough weather conditions all season, and those didn’t change Saturday morning, when the Rochelle girls competed against over 20 area high schools in the IHSA 2A Sectional at Belvidere High School.

With temperatures approaching freezing and only four runners healthy enough to race, the Lady Hubs finished their season strong despite being unable to record a team score. Senior Britney Baez continued leading the Rochelle girls on Saturday, clocking in at 21:36.7 to place 90th while sophomore Sara Johnson took 116th with a time of 22:34.5.

“It was about 37 degrees when we got there but the people at Belvidere did a great job of cleaning up the snow and debris on the course,” head coach Mark Zilis said. “I checked the times from other schools and as a whole, everybody raced a bit slower than they normally would have… Britney ran a competitive race and Sara ran a nice race as well.”

Freshman Ahtziri Zepeda and sophomore Emily Garcia rounded out the Rochelle team on Saturday with respective times of 26:05.6 and 27:47.5. The Lady Hubs were without freshman Yuelma Ortiz and sophomore Morgan West, who each helped Rochelle reach the sectional after the Lady Hubs qualified in sixth place at the IHSA 2A Regional in Sterling.

“The four girls who raced gave their best effort,” Zilis said. “The three girls who will be coming back next season earned some good experience this weekend. They learned what it’s like to race in a sectional atmosphere.”



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