Cross Country: Harriers take flight at Interstate 8 Championships

Varsity Hubs finish seventh, Lady Hubs take eighth


SYCAMORE — Despite cold, rainy and windy conditions with gusts ranging as high as 40 miles per hour, the Rochelle Township High School cross country team managed to record several strong times during the Interstate 8 Conference Championships at Sycamore High School.

Senior Aiden Seldal and junior Luke Orlikowski each cracked the 20-minute mark on Saturday, leading the Hubs to seventh place out of eight teams in the varsity race. Seldal finished 34th with a time of 19:24 and Orlikowski took 39th with a time of 19:59. Sophomore David Wanner anchored Rochelle’s fresh-soph boys in the meet, placing seventh with a time of 19:04 while freshmen Parker Lenkaitis and Alex Burke finished 13th and 15th, respectively.

“Our team ran really well overall, with most athletes bettering their times from when we ran against Sycamore about a month ago,” head coach Mark Zilis said. “I was surprised how well we ran considering the conditions our athletes had to endure, but I think that could be a sign that our training is working… Our varsity boys set a goal of beating at least one team and our fresh-soph boys finished third after setting a goal to finish in the top half of the conference.”

The Rochelle varsity girls finished eighth in the conference meet behind junior Sara Johnson, who led the Lady Hubs with a time of 22:38 to take 16th overall. Sophomores Yuelma Ortiz (29th), Karina Lopez (38th) and Ahtziri Zepeda (44th) rounded out the top four Rochelle varsity girls on Saturday with respective times of 24:05, 26:02 and 28:14.

Rochelle’s varsity teams will compete in the IHSA 2A Belvidere Regional on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 9 and 11 a.m. The girls will race first and the boys will race second. Qualifiers will advance to the IHSA 2A Lake Villa (Lakes) Sectional on Saturday, Oct. 31.