SENECA – The Amboy High School cross country teams competed in the Seneca Class 1A Sectional on Oct. 31. The season ended for all teams in the state at the sectional level.
In the boys’ race, the Clippers took third place in the team standings with 109 points. That would have been good enough to advance to the state meet. Only Rockford Christian (63) and Sherrard (100) placed above Amboy out of the 14 teams that scored points.
Brock Loftus led the way for the Clippers with a sixth-place overall finish in 17:16. Kyler McNinch was next in for Amboy in 11th place with a clocking of 17:36, while Ian Eller came in 14th with a time of 17:40.
Rounding out the Clipper lineup were Charlie Dickinson (42nd, 18:40), Andruw Jones (67th, 19:18), Wyatt Lundquist (73rd, 19:25) and Ryan Dickinson (84th, 19:50).
The overall champion was Jacob Belha of Sherrard with a time of 16:44.
Teams finishing behind Amboy in the standings were Port Byron Riverdale (136), Seneca (151), Pontiac (182), Aledo Mercer County (187), Prophetstown (198), Sterling Newman (200), East Dubuque (223), Durand (237), Minonk Fieldcrest (247), Byron (323) and Rockford Lutheran (328).
“It was a great finish to the IHSA season for the boys,” stated coach Mike Robinson. “Placing a close third in the sectional is a great accomplishment. We ran hard and put forth a lot of effort and it was well rewarded.
“This would have been the first boys’ team to ever qualify for the state meet. We got stronger as the season went along and the hard work has paid off. We have almost everyone coming back next year and we will be even better.”
The Lady Clippers also participated in the sectional and landed in 14th place with 316 points. Winnebago ran away with the team title with 15 points, followed by Rock Falls (109), Seneca (141), Rockford Christian (150) and Rock Island Alleman (164).
Five runners took to the course for the Lady Clippers and Lauren Althaus was the first one in with a time of 22:28, which was good enough for 47th place. Elly Jones wasn’t far behind in 50th place with a time of 22:42, while Madelyn McLaughlin finished 70th in 23:25. Bailey Ellis (100th, 25:14) and Brooklyn Whelchel (111th, 26:59) also competed for Amboy.
The individual sectional champion was Natalia Martino of Winnebago in a time of 19:01. Winnebago had five of the top six runners.
Other participating schools were Orion (176), Aledo Mercer County (188), Cambridge (213), Toulon Stark County (215), Oregon (221), Byron (263), Princeton (272) and Lanark Eastland (295).
“It was a strong season for all of the Lady Clippers,” noted Robinson. “With four newcomers to the team that had never run cross country before, I think it went a lot better than they expected it to. We ended at the sectional meet for the second year in a row.
“We had some promising performances from everyone and have a strong base set for next year. To the seniors, thanks for coming out and trying something new. I hope you learned something and had a fun time doing it.”