Rockford Christian boys, Winnebago girls capture Sectional Championships

High School Sports

MARSEILLES, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The Winnebago girls and the Rockford Christian boys followed up their regional championships last week at Oregon with sectional championships Saturday in Class 1A at the Seneca Sectional.

In the girls race the Stateline was well represented with teams from Rockford Christian, Oregon, Winnebago, Byron and Eastland competing, plus several local individuals including Rockford Lutheran’s Lauren Spangler. The big story was Winnebago. They were at full strength. Three runners and coaches Janet and Joe Erb had completed their quarantine.

The girls race was run in four heats. The first heat had every team’s top runner. For Winnebago that’s senior Natalia Martino. As she’s done all year she dominated winning by more than 14 seconds. In the next heat Winnebago got a one-two finish from Grace Erb and Kaylee Woolery. In the third heat it was another one-two finish by Bago’s Marissa Roggensack and Katie Erb, and the fourth heat saw Bago’s Renee Rittmeyer and Sophia Martino finish one-two. Overall Winnebago took the top five spots in the team competition, and the Indians placed seven runners in the top 16 overall to run away with the championship.

“I was able to get out in front and just keep that spot so I was very happy with that,” said Martino.

“We did talk about they had an opportunity to put on a show because they’re so deep, and they did that, so it was just really special…a special group of kids,” said Winnebago head coach Joe Erb.

Four local teams competed in the boys race…DuPec, Byron, Lutheran and Rockford Christian. Rockford Christian dominated at the regional last week. The Royal Lions were impressive again. Senior D’Artagnon Beaver finished second in the first heat and second overall. Senior Stephen Thomas won the second heat and finished eighth overall. Rockford Christian placed five runners in the top 24 to win the Sectional Championship.

“Today this course, we know the hills are insane so it’s really about who’s really going to go out and hurt more. I had a great day,” said Beaver.

Following are the team results and some of the individual results for both the girls and the boys.

1. Winnebago 15
2. Rock Falls 109
3. Seneca 141
4. Rockford Christian 150
5. Alleman 164
6. Orion 176
7. Aledo (Mercer County) 188
8. Cambridge 213
9. Toulon (Stark County)
10. Oregon 221
11. Byron 263
12. Princeton 272
13. Lanark Eastland
14. Amboy 316

1. Natalia Martino (Winnebago)
3. Grace Erb (Winnebago)
4. Kaylee Woolery (Winnebago)
5. Marissa Roggensack (Winnebago)
6. Katie Erb (Winnebago)
8. Kelly Giardina (Rockford Christian)
10. Renee Rittmeyer (Winnebago)
16. Sophia Martino (Winnebago)
17. Calin Gaulrapp (Rock Falls)
19. Gracie Rippy (Rock Falls)
20. Rebekah Starwalt (Byron)
22. Lauren Spangler (Rockford Lutheran)
28. Faith Marquardt (Oregon)
30. Mackenzie Park (Rockford Christian)

1. Rockford Christian 63
2. Sherrard 100
3. Amboy 109
4. Port Byron Riverdale 136
5. Seneca 151
6. Pontiac 182
7. Aledo Mercer County 187
8. Prophetstown 198
9. Sterling Newman 200
10. East Dubuque 223
11. Du-Pec 237
12. Minonk Fieldcrest 247
13. Byron 323
14. Rockford Lutheran 328

2. D’Artagnon Beaver (Rockford Christian)
6. Brock Loftus (Amboy)
8. Stephen Thomas (Rockford Christian)
11. Kyler McNich (Amboy)
14. Ian Eller (Amboy)
15. Ollie Arndt (Freeport Aquin)
19. Adison Elliott (Rockford Christian)
23. Ethan Walsh (Rockford Christian)
24. Weston Forward (Rockford Christian)

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