East Alton-Wood River's Garrett Fulkerson competes during the Class 1A MELHS Sectional Saturday. The sophomore for the Oilers qualified for state.
Roxana's Kyrston Scifres runs in the Class 1A MELHS Sectional Saturday at SIUE. Scifres advanced to state.
Marquette's Natalie Halliday runs at SIUE on Saturday. She was unable to qualify for the state meet.
EDWARDSVILLE – Kyrston Scifres of Roxana and Garrett Fulkerson of East Alton-Wood River landed on solid footing Saturday in the Class 1A Metro East Lutheran Sectional at the SIUE cross country course.
Both River Bend runners qualified for the IHSA finals next Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. The Class 1A girls’ race will start at 9 a.m., followed by the boys’ run at 10 a.m.
Scifres, a junior, finished 10th in 20 minutes, 30 minutes in the girls’ competition on the rugged Southern Illinois University Edwardsville course. Fulkerson, a sophomore, placed 13th at 17:37 in the boys’ action. The top five teams and seven best runners not on those squads in both boys and girls advanced to state. Scrifes was fourth and Fulkerson seventh among individual qualifiers.
“I ran this race the way I wanted to run it,” said Scifres, formerly a state qualifier with Roxana’s team two years ago. “It was a hard course, but I wanted to finish in the top 15.”
Shells’ coach Scott Edwards added, “She ran great and it was a personal best for her on this course.”
Fulkerson went to state last fall with the EA-WR boys’ team. Now, he will return as an individual.
“This course is a bit hilly and that made it hard today, but it’s my favorite course,” said Fulkerson, savoring another date in Peoria. “I was really happy with my race. I started slowly, then I picked it up and had a pretty good finish.”
Oilers’ coach Russ Colona said, “Garrett has been a positive leader for us this season and we needed somebody to do that because our team is all sophomores and freshmen.”
Neither Roxana’s girls’ team (eighth) nor EA-WR’s boys (ninth) squads, qualified for state. Haley Kerpan, a junior from EA-WR, placed 29th in 21:48. Marquette Catholic junior Natalie Halliday finished 47th in 22.52. Roxana’s James Henseler was 92nd in 19:49.67 during the boys’ competition and also didn’t advance to Peoria.
Freeburg won the girls’ team title with 57 points. Keri Burmester of Red Bud was the individual winner in 19:11. Freeburg also won the boys' title in scoring 38 points. Corbin Kakac of Fairfield finished first in the race at 16:40. Southwestern’s Brandon Myatt, ninth in 17:27, advanced to state. Myatt, a junior, attends Bunker Hill High, which co-opts with Southwestern for cross country.
Alex Singleton of Civic Memorial secured another spot at state. The junior, 27th in last year’s IHSA finals, took third Saturday in the Decatur MacArthur Sectional. Her time was 18:10, or eight seconds out of first place. Megan Shaffer of Mattoon finished first in 18:02 and Chatham Glenwood claimed the team title.
“It was easily her best effort of the season and her personal-best time,” CM coach Clint Walters said. Singleton ran 18:13 at state in 2013.
Singleton, the Mississippi Valley Conference champion this fall, finished ninth in the Jacksonville Sectional. However, she turned it up a notch at Decatur.
“She was more relaxed today,” Walters said. “It was a good confidence-builder for state.”
CM boys' runners Ryan Gunter (57th in 16:44), Sam Hurst (17:09) and Frank Trost (19:15) weren’t as fortunate in their individual quests to advance to state.
Alton High was shut out in its attempt to qualify individual boys and girls to state via the Quincy Sectional.
Sophomore boys Arie Macias (36th in 16:27.62), Evan Rathgeb (78th in 17:09.1) and Sam Gentelin (114th in 17:54.95), along with senior girls Rebecca Adney (82nd in 20:47.03) and Hanah Batchelor (122nd in 22:26.29), wrapped up their seasons at Quincy.
O’Fallon scored 62 points to nab the team title. New Lenox Lincoln-Way came in second with 82 points and Edwardsville wound up third with 87 points. Dorrian Gordon of O’Fallon was the individual champion in 15:08.73.
Minooka had 53 points to take first in the girls’ competition. O’Fallon was second with 59 points and Edwardsville third at 103. Ashley Tutt of Minooka won the race in 17:42.17.