Racetime: Girls 10 a.m., boys 10:45 a.m.
Advancement: Top five teams and top seven individuals from non-qualifying teams advance to IHSA State finals in Peoria on Nov. 3. If an individual makes the Top 10, they advance no matter the team placings.
Girls teams to beat: Rock Falls, Winnebago, Byron and Ottawa Marquette will be fighting for the team title with Henry/Midland and Rockford Lutheran looking to qualify. Rock Falls won its own regional, and Marquette made off with the St. Bede Regional crown.
Area girls team(s): Hall.
Individual girls to beat: BV soph Regan Weidner who won her first regional title, now runs after her first sectional crown. BV has had just one sectional champion, Jason Bill in 2001, in school history, but coach Dale Donner believes Weidner has a really good chance at getting a second. She will be challenged Saturday by Ottawa Marquette’s Dani Aurit, whom she has beat in two out of three races this year, and Fieldcrest’s Maria Baldwin, whom she has defeated four out of five times. Aurit beat Baldwin to the finish by 26 seconds at the St. Bede Regional Saturday.
Other area runners: Princeton’s Zoe Mead finished seventh at St. Bede and coach Pat Hodge believes she continues to improve as they fine-tune her race. He’s hopeful for a top 25 finish. She’ll be joined by PHS senior Kathyrn Krieger, who’s battled through an assortment of illness and ailments over the years to make sectional in her last run. Also competing are DePue’s Velinda Lopez and Amboy/LaMoille’s Jennifer Popovich.
Boys teams to beat: The team title should boil down to a tight race between Rock Island Alleman, Winnebago and Byron. The last two qualifying spots should be a very close call between Marquette, Newman, Bureau Valley, Harvard, Rockford Christian and Rock Falls.
Other area boys team(s): Hall, Princeton.
Individual boys to beat: Rock Falls Regional champ Ethan Adlfinger will be favored once again. BV’s Ryan Taylor and Hall’s Al Baldonado and Joseph Parrochetti will be in the running for Top 10 finishes along with Brandt Cole (Rock Falls), Bryson Reyes (Newman) and Alex Pettis (Henry).
— Kevin Hieronymus