It was a warm and busy Saturday for local high school runners as the IHSA cross country regionals kicked off the postseason for the state's distance athletes. The following are recaps of local teams and athletes, divided by class.
1-A Winnebago Regional - Boys
Rockford Christian, Winnebago, and North Boone all punched tickets to the Oregon sectional, with Royal Lions state champion track star Riley Wells finishing with the top individual time of 14:33.3 Oregon's Ian Hussung, Christian Life's Christian Olpin and Josiah Rynne, and Genoa-Kingston's Ryan Wade also advanced.
1-A Winnebago Regional - Girls
Rockford Christian, Winnebago, Genoa-Kingston, Oregon, and Lutheran are all going to sectionals as teams. Winnebago's Natalia Martino clocked the best individual time as the freshman ran a 17:27.31. Byron's Meghan McCarey and Annie Pearson, North Boone's Irais Tenorio, and Aquin's Maggie Bald are all advancing as individuals.
2-A Belvidere Regional - Boys
Dixon, Belvidere North, Sterling, Belvidere, and Boylan will head to Kaneland for sectionals. Sterling's Jacob Gebhardt ran an individual best 15:57. Freeport's Chris Metz, John unger and Tate Slaght, and Jefferson's Alfredo Ramirez all advanced.
2-A Belvidere Regional - Girls
Belvidere North, Dixon, Sterling, and Boylan bring their entire teams to sectionals. Lady Blue Thunder sophomore Madison Diercks ran an 18:08.3, with four of her teammates finishing in the top six. Rochelle's Katherine Bakken, Claire Plapp, and Hannah Cruz, as well as Freeport's Gabi Rodriguez and Belvidere's Alliyah Lebensorger advanced as individuals.
3-A Hononegah Regional - Boys
DeKalb, Hononegah and Harlem sent their teams to sectionals, with two East E-Rabs (Noah Friske, 2nd overall; and Jacob Woloszyn), one Auburn Knight (Andrew Baxter), and Emon Johnson of Guilford advancing as individuals.
3-A Hononegah Regional - Girls
Hononegah, DeKalb, and Auburn advanced to sectionals as teams. DeKalb's Katherin Olsen ran the fastest time individually, in 18:07. Harlem's Alyssa Kuehne and Breanna Sheldon qualified as individuals, with East's Merline Mouapi and Adriana Flores joining Guilford's Caitlin Ehrhardt in the sectional field.