SENECA — Hall junior Al Baldonado won the Class A regional cross country championship at Seneca Saturday. He will have company at sectionals.
Baldonado clocked a winning time of 16 minutes, 37 seconds. He’ll be joined at the Oregon Sectional by the Hall boys, who placed third as a team, and the Hall girls, who placed seventh.
Princeton qualified two individuals for the Oregon Sectional, Zoe Mead and Cody Workman. Other individual qualifiers include St. Bede’s Jake Condon and Putnam County’s Noe Flores and Ashlyn Haage,
Baldonado beat out Henry’s Alex Pettis by five seconds, using a strong kick to claim the regional crown.
“It was a very challenging course on a windy day,” Hall coach TomKeegan said. “He was sitting in second place at the mile marker with the leader looking very strong. When they got to the two-mile, Al had closed the gap somewhat before they disappeared into the woods. It came down to a very competitive kick at the end and Al was able to get the separation that he needed.
Hall (109) finished third behind El Paso-Gridley (51) and Sandwich (94). The top seven teams advance. Also kicking in key points for Hall were Sandro Aldana (3rd, 19:01), Tyler Pullam (23rd, 19:16), Rosy Fuentes (26th, 19:31) and Christian Garcia (34th, 19:35).
Workman was the lone runner to compete for the PHS boys and he delivered, placing 19th with a time of 19:01 to qualify as the fourth individual.
“Looking at the meet ahead of time, I thought that Cody would be near the top 20 based on the results from the Amboy Invite. That usually gets you to sectional,” Hodge said. “He was in 18th for the majority of the race and did a nice job hanging tough at the end.”
Flores (12th, 18:15) and Condon (17th, 18:54) will join Workman as individual qualifiers.
Mead advanced as the second individual qualifier for the girls, placing 13th in 21:49. She qualified for sectionals for the fourth time.
“Zoe looked a little out of sync, but was able to battle through it enough to earn her fourth sectional trip,” PHS coach Pat Hodge said. “Although today wasn’t our best day, I was proud of all our girls, most of them trying cross country for the first time and seeing it through as far as they could.”
The Hall girls claimed the seventh and final berth with 193 points. Scoring for Hall were Kaylee Olivares (25th, 23:34), Amelia Moreno (35th, 24:28), Becca Herrmann (41st, 25:18), Brittany Foster (43rd, 25:45) and Linnea Lee-Brown (49th, 26:29).
Henry/Midland edged Ottawa Marquette for the team title, 49-50. Fieldcrest’s Maria Baldwin (19:42) was the race winner.
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