Where: West Park, Oregon.
When: Girls race starts at 10 a.m.
Area teams: Amboy/LaMoille (boys/girls), Annawan/Wethersfield (boys/girls), Bureau Valley (boys/girls), Hall (boys).
Area individuals: Zoe Mead and Cody Workman (Princeton); Johnee Schulte (Ohio); Jake Condon (St. Bede); Noe Flores and Ashlyn Haage (PC).
Boys notes: Hall junior Al Baldonado came one place from reaching state finals a year ago. He’s ready to go over the top Saturday, fresh off a regional crown at Seneca. “Physically and mentally he is ready to go. Last year he missed going by one placement and one second. He handled that with grace on the outside but internally it has really driven him. He has not short changed himself on one practice this year. He has worked very hard, and he is hoping that will take him where he wants to go.” Other individual regional winners were T.J. Pitcock of Byron at Winnebago and Michael Cook of AW at Bureau Valley. .... The field boasts No. 1 ranked Winnebago along with No. 9 Newman, No. 12 Rockford Christian, No. 14 Byron, No. 20 Rock Falls and No. 25 El Paso-Gridley.
Girls notes: Bureau Valley coach Dale Donner said junior standout Regan Weidner is back to 100 percent, having trained differently to rehab a stress fracture. “We will see how it translates in to running. She has done water work and elliptical workouts. Not the same as running, but as close as we could get,” Donner said. She was the 1A runner-up last year. Mead is hopeful to qualify for Princeton with a top 20 finish. Kelsey Hildreth of Byron is the favorite individually with Kirstie Ramsey of Annawan/Wethersfield and Cheyenne Moore of Winnebago, Megan Grady of Amboy/LaMoille and Kaitlyn Cline of Annawan/Wethersfield the best of the rest. ... The field includes six state-ranked teams vying for the five advancing spots. No. 7 Annawan/Wethersfield is the favorite, joined by No. 11 Marquette, No. 12 Henry/Midland, No. 14 Byron, No. 21 Winnebago and No. 25 Seneca.
BV coach Dale Donner says: “Both the boys and girls need to run a great race. In the last sectional ranking, our boys were ranked 9th in the sectional and the girls were unranked. We are really running well right now and feel if we put together a strong race from the entire team we have a chance. We truly believe that all our hard work this past five months will pay off on Saturday.”
• Advancement: The top five teams and seven individuals from non-qualifying teams qualify for State at Detweiller Park in Peoria Nov. 9.
- Kevin Hieronymus