Cross Country: Seldal emerging as top runner for Hubs

Rising senior Aiden Seldal has made significant strides over each of his last two cross country seasons at Rochelle Township High School. (Photo by Marcy DeLille)

Rising senior seeking to set better pace during races

Aiden Seldal didn’t lace up for the Rochelle Township High School cross country team until he was a sophomore, but he’s made significant strides over his last two years with the Hubs. Now a rising senior, Seldal will return for his third cross country season this fall, and he’ll be an early candidate to step up and fill a leadership role as Rochelle’s top varsity runner.

A two-sport athlete who also competes with the track and field team, Seldal averaged times in the 20-to-21-minute range toward the beginning of his sophomore season in 2018. Those times improved dramatically as the fall progressed, however, with Seldal running a season-best 19:07.2 in the IHSA 2A Belvidere North Regional. Additionally, Seldal finished in the 19-minute range over three of his final four cross country meets during his sophomore season.

Seldal continued to get stronger in 2019, finishing in the 19-minute range three times and entering the 18-minute threshold four times. For the second straight season, Seldal ran his best race in late October, setting a personal-best time of 18:07.6 at the IHSA 2A Sterling Regional.

“My junior year was my best year in cross country, even though it was only my second year on the team,” Seldal said. “I thought I finished my races very well and I pushed myself much harder at the end of each race. I think I can improve on setting a better pace during the middle of my races... My goal for my senior year is to break my personal record from last year. It will take a lot of running to get there, but I want to finish my senior year strong.”

Seldal will be a key varsity runner returning from a 2019 roster that graduated several seniors including Santi Cordoba and Tucker Louis, who held personal records in the 17-minute range. The Hubs will look to build on strong team performances such as their second-place finish at the Byron Invite and their fourth-place finish in the Genoa-Kingston Matt Walter Invite.

“I thought we had a great team last year,” Seldal said. “Our team was mostly seniors, so we’re losing a lot of our top runners, but we have a lot of potentially good runners coming back. I have a lot of hope that we can be just as good, if not better than we were last year. Our team has a very strong bond and we like to make jokes and have fun with each other during practice. I think we can improve on taking practices more seriously this year.”

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