PERU – Both of the Amboy High School cross country teams advanced to the sectional round after competing in the St. Bede Class 1A Regional on Oct. 24 in Peru.
The Clipper boys were crowned regional champions by a wide margin. Amboy scored 50 points and beat its nearest competitor, Sterling Newman, by 42 points. Rounding out the top five teams were Seneca (97), Pontiac (121) and Minonk Fieldcrest (129). Other teams in the field were Rock Falls (144), Lowpoint-Washburn (152), Mendota (191), St. Bede (262), Henry-Senachwine (269), Ottawa Marquette (274), Hall (312), Newark (328) and Princeton (366).
Brock Loftus and Kyler McNinch have been at or near the top of every race this season, and the Clipper harriers were no different in the regional. Loftus was the second runner to cross the finish line in a time of 16:52, while McNinch was right behind him in third place with a clocking of 17:07. AHS’s Ian Eller also finished in the top 10, in eighth place with a time of 17:23.
Rounding out the Clipper lineup were Charlie Dickinson (15th, 18:07), Andruw Jones (22nd, 18:38), Wyatt Lundquist (23rd, 18:40) and Ryan Dickinson (51st, 19:31).
Ottawa Marquette’s Lucas Hoffman was the overall champion with a time of 16:33.
“For the second year in a row the boys have qualified for the sectional, but more importantly Amboy has a boys’ regional championship in cross country,” said coach Mike Robinson. “This is the first boys’ regional championship in school history.
“All the boys ran great races and showed why we won. From start to finish in each flight, we never dropped lower than fifth. They have worked hard all season and won a lot of meets while missing people. Our season continues one more week and we look to get even better.”
The Lady Clippers had six runners in the girls’ race and Lauren Althaus was the first AHS competitor through the chute in 10th place with a time of 21:36. Elly Jones was next in 16th place with a time of 22:22, followed by Madelyn McLaughlin (21st, 22:57) and Brittney Mundell (27th, 23:17). Bailey Ellis (40th, 25:01) and Brooklyn Whelchel (43rd, 25:35) also raced.
Calin Gaulrapp of Rock Falls was the individual champion in 20:11.
Rock Falls also claimed the team title with 29 points. The rest of the top five included Seneca (55), Henry-Senachwine (102), Princeton (112) and Amboy (114). Rounding out the team standings were Lowpoint-Washburn (172), Ottawa Marquette (177), St. Bede (190) and Minonk Fieldcrest (214).
“Like the boys, for the second year in a row the girls’ team has qualified for the sectional,” said Robinson. “The girls ran very strong and showed they deserve a spot in the sectional.
“These girls have worked hard all season and they have had their ups and downs, but in the end, they prevailed and reached one of their team goals. They gained some confidence and will do even better in the sectional.”
The Amboy teams will participate in the Seneca Class 1A Sectional on Saturday, Oct. 31. The girls will race at 10 a.m. and the boys will compete at 1 p.m.