The 2012 boys cross country season saw success come individually with Bureau Valley junior Ryan Taylor making a return run to state. More importantly, it also saw some success at the team level with three area teams, Princeton, Bureau Valley and Hall, advancing to sectional competition.
Here’s a rundown of the kids behind those success stories, all of who were able to lead their teams to the next level.
Zach Andersen: Princeton: He may have only been able to run in four meets this fall, due to his commitments to the PHS soccer team, but Andersen left his mark as the Tigers’ No. 1 runner when he was competing.
His 11th place (17:28.17) showing as the area’s third top runner at the Princeton Invite may have been his best run, considering how early that was in the season, PHS coach Pat Hodge said, and sectional (17:32.42) was his best time. He also placed 13th (17:46) at the St. Bede Regional and 52nd at the Oregon Sectional.
“He does an excellent job of pacing himself and being very consistent throughout a race,” Hodge said. “Getting his time under 17 minutes was a fine achievement for not training specifically for cross country with his soccer.”
Al Baldonado (Hall): Now that he has been hooked by this sport. Hall coach Tom Keegan said Baldonado has enjoyed some success and wants more. He was right there pushing teammate Joseph Parochetti and in the last few races was finishing as Hall’s No. 1.
Keegan said his soph standout may have just missed out on making state (a little more than a second), but he has made himself known with his performances and has high expectations for the next two years.
Baldonado led the Red Devils with a fourth-place (16:41) at the St. Bede Regional and a 14th-place run (16:42.99) at the Oregon Sectional, one place out of the running for state. He was the top area runner in the Princeton Invite.
Kane Eastwood (Bureau Valley): The Storm junior has been a runner that deserves everything he gets, said BV coach Daler Donner — he works for it.
“Kane put a lot of miles in this past summer to make himself the runner he is right now. It is nice to see the improvement and the accolades that come for someone after they put in the work to improve,” Donner said.
Eastwood came in as the Storm’s No. 2 finisher (16:47) at the Rock Falls Regional and No. 3 at the Oregon Sectional (48th, 17:30). His best race was Amboy, clocking a 16:35 to finish 48th.
Logan Hoffert (Bureau Valley): Originally looking to come out for cross country his junior year just to work on his speed and strength for track, but in the process Hoffert turned himself into a pretty good cross country runner, BV coach Dale Donner said. He started his senior season running in the Storm’s No. 3-6 pack and finished it as No. 2 at sectional.
“Logan has made some huge improvements over the last two years he has been out,” Donner said.
At conference, Hoffert turned up the pace and ran his best race up to the point, 18:02 for 11th. He finished the season with a 17:30.32 run at the Oregon Sectional, good for 48th-place finish as the Storm’s No. 2 man.
Joseph Parochetti (Hall): While the Hall senior enjoyed much success as an award winner at all of Hall’s bigger invites this year and will be missed for his running talents, Keegan said the Red Devils may miss his leadership qualifies even more next year. “He has a tremendous work ethic that paid off with huge results for him. He’s a high-motor type of kid who brought it to practice everyday.
Parochetti missed out on qualifying for state by six seconds with a 15th-place finish. He placed sixth (16:49) at the St. Bede Regional, teaming with Baldonado to lead the Red Devils to a runner-up finish behind Ottawa Marquette. He led all area runners with a 19th-place finish at the Amboy Columbus Day Invitational.
Ryan Taylor (Bureau Valley): The Bureau Valley junior has made a knack on qualifying for the IHSA State finals in Peoria. He placed 63rd as a sophomore and 49th this season. He would like none better to go back again next year, take his team with him, and get up on that medal stand.
“Ryan has grown as both a runner and an individual over the past few years.’ Donner said. “His goal was to get to state and get as close to medaling as possible. His goal for next year is to medal at state. He has become a very strong leader for our team and we have very high hopes for him and our team next year.”
On the road to Peoria, Taylor placed sixth (16:11) at the Rock Falls Regional and 11th (16:41.79) at the Oregon Sectional. He was also the Three Rivers Conference runner-up.
Bureau Valley: Kody Church, Colten Peterson, Andrew Smith, Daniel Trone.
Hall: Miguel Aldana, Rosy Fuentes, Christian Garcia.
Princeton: Mason Hunt.
St. Bede: Sam Brolley, Sam Lucas.