Cross Country: Rochelle harriers race at Sycamore Invitational

Huerta, Ortiz lead RTHS teams in meet at Kishwaukee College


MALTA — The Rochelle Hub and Lady Hub cross country teams opened their seasons against some of the strongest programs in the state on Tuesday, when Kishwaukee College hosted the Sycamore Invitational. Nine Rochelle runners set new personal records in the meet, with the Hubs finishing in 15th place while junior Yuelma Ortiz ran the fastest time for the Lady Hubs.

Sixteen schools participated in the Sycamore Invitational including Rochelle, which saw its boys take 15th with 486 points behind senior Josue Huerta and junior David Wanner, who finished with respective times of 19:36.3 and 19:37.3 in the 3-mile varsity race. Senior Peter Forsberg clocked in at 20:13.5, while junior Thomas Koziol ended the race with a time of 21:19.8.

“This was an incredibly competitive meet with numerous past state champions and finalists in the field,” head coach Mark Zilis said. “Despite us finishing down in the standings as a team, our team members did well as individuals. Almost every member of the team improved significantly from our first race last season. We also had two runners race 3 miles for the first time.”

Rochelle took 12th with 310 points in the fresh-soph race behind sophomores Parker Lenkaits and Luis Pizano, who led the Hubs with respective times of 20:09.9 and 20:55.3. Freshman Chris Hickey finished with a time of 21:16.0 and sophomore Alex Burke ended with 22:07.7.

Ortiz led Rochelle in the varsity girls race, placing 32nd overall with a time of 21:04.5. Junior Gisselle Robles clocked in at 27:21.1 and senior Emily Garcia finished with a time of 29:35.5. Rochelle’s cross country teams will return to action at the Oregon Invitational on Saturday.