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.”