OREGON — Hub senior Aiden Seldal had one runner to beat during the final stretch of Rochelle’s cross country race against the Oregon Hawks on Thursday.
Competing stride-for-stride with Oregon harrier Ryan Hussung, Seldal maintained a slight edge before making a strong turn around the last turn of the course at Oregon Park West. With nothing remaining but a sprint to the finish, Seldal pushed toward the line, extending his lead and ultimately winning his first race of the 2020 season with a time of 19:08.1.
“I knew that if I stuck with whoever I was running with, I could beat him out at the end,” Seldal said. “It felt really good to win the race. I think my season has gone pretty well, but I think my next few races are going to be even better. I want to finish in the 17-minute range during my next race at the conference meet and I want to be a sectional qualifier this year.”
Seldal’s first-place performance propelled Rochelle’s boys past Oregon on Thursday, with the Hubs winning 25-30 for their first victory since Sept. 3. Sophomore David Wanner placed third for Rochelle (5-7, 1-6 Interstate 8) with a time of 20:00, while junior Josue Huerta took sixth in 20:33.8. Freshmen Parker Lenkaitis and Alex Burke rounded out the top eight runners in the race, with Lenkaitis (20:34.0) finishing seventh and Burke (21:20.1) placing eighth.
“We’re racing really well right now,” Seldal said. “We have a well-rounded team and everybody placed well today. I think we can race well at the conference and regional meets. These next few races may be the last few for some of the guys, so we want to show what we can do.”
The Lady Hubs also went head-to-head with Oregon on Thursday, with the Hawks defeating Rochelle 17-46. Junior Sara Johnson finished fourth for the Lady Hubs (3-8, 1-6 Interstate 8) with a time of 24:01.1 and sophomore Karina Lopez took 13th with a time of 28:12.9. The Interstate 8 Championships will be held Saturday, Oct. 17 in Sycamore.
The Rochelle cross country teams faced Kaneland on the road Tuesday afternoon, with both the boys and girls falling by scores of 15-50. It was the final conference dual meet for the Hubs and Lady Hubs before the Interstate 8 Championships.
Junior Sara Johnson led Rochelle in the girls race, finishing eighth with a time of 23:45. Senior Aiden Seldal and sophomore David Wanner recorded the top boys times on Tuesday, taking 11th and 12th in 19:02 and 19:10, respectively. Freshman Parker Lenkaitis placed 14th with a time of 19:43.