Charleston coach Chris Hawk says the Mount Zion girls are heavy favorites to win today’s Apollo Conference cross country team championship.

The Braves will enter the three-mile race at Lake Land College with their top five girls all under 20 minutes for the three-mile race.

Plus, they have two runners with times recorded under 19 minutes.

Last year, the Braves defeated Mahomet-Seymour by one point.

On paper, the team is a 43-point favorite to beat projected runner-up Effingham. 

But Hawk also expected his two top runners to have a chance to earn all-conference honors.

“Seniors Ila Richter and Whitley Wood are going to be fighting for spots on the All-Apollo team,” said Hawk. “Both have been running very consistently and a good race could earn them top 10 medals.”

Richter owns a team-best time of 20:13.8 this season, while Wood’s best time is 20:25.0. Both are ranked 11th and 13th respectively. 

Mount Zion will be led by senior Sofia Munoz, who recently ran a time of 18:14.6 at the Peoria High Invitational. Teammate Ellie Frizsche ran a time of 18:45. Both are ranked second and third on the leaderboard. Camille Mavis (19:15.7), Renne Ballard (19:31.3), and Brooke Doyle (19:39.5) are also fifth, seventh, and ninth respectively. 

With five spots potentially going to Mount Zion runners, the race for the other five spots will make it difficult for the other six teams in the conference. One spot will definitely go to the featured favorite to win the Apollo. 

Two-time Apollo Conference individual champion Becca Heitzig of Lincoln is the favorite to win a third straight year after running a season-best 17:16.8 at Detweiler Park earlier this season. Heitzig, though, hasn’t recorded a meet time since Sept. 24, when she won the SHS Invite by 28 seconds in 18:09.

Mahomet-Seymour’s Ava Boyd, a two-time Apollo runner is ranked fourth with a time of 18:48.5, while Effingham’s Jessica Larsen is ranked sixth at 19:30.9. That leaves a few open spots on paper for the final All-Apollo spots and Hawk believes his top two runners could make their way into one of those spots. 

Mattoon’s Oakley Layton is ranked 22nd with a time of 21:39.4. 

Top 30 Apollo Times


11Becca Heitzig17:16.8   Lincoln   Sep 10
12Sofia Munoz18:14.6   Mt. Zion   Oct 1
11Ellie Fritzsche18:45.4   Mt. Zion   Oct 1
11Ava Boyd18:48.5   MahometSep 17
11Camille Mavis19:15.7   Mt. Zion   Oct 1
10Jessica Larsen19:30.9   Effingham   Sep 17
11Renee Ballard19:31.3   Mt. Zion   Oct 1
10Chloe Bundren19:33.3   Mahomet   Sep 17
11Brooke Doyle19:39.5   Mt. Zion   Oct 1
9Baylee Summers20:12.5   Effingham   Sep 10
12Ila Richter20:13.8   Charleston   Sep 21
11Ella Goodman20:22.0   Taylorville   Sep 27
12Whitley Wood20:25.0   Charleston   Sep 21
9Avery Sommer20:41.0   Mt. Zion   Sep 27
11Audrey Wagoner20:49.7   Effingham   Aug 27
11Hallie Smith21:04.0   Taylorville   Sep 27
10Haddie Hill21:08.2   Effingham   Sep 21
11Hailey Betzer21:10.5   Mt. Zion   Sep 3
9Hadley Grotelueschen21:17.1   Mahomet  Sep 17
12Callie Jansen21:21.6   Mahomet  Aug 27
10Morgan Springer21:36.7   Effingham   Sep 21
11Oaklie Layton21:39.4   Mattoon   Sep 21
10Morgan Waisath21:40.4   Mahomet    Aug 27
11Lauren Bednar21:59.6   Mahomet   Aug 27
12Alexia Finch21:59.9   Mt. Zion   Oct 1
10Mallory Short22:00.0   Lincoln   Sep 24
9Jinan Abdo22:19.2   Mahomet Sep 17
10Amber Weiss22:21.9   Charleston   Oct 1
12Allison Miller22:22.7   Effingham   Sep 3
10Sydney Lowis22:24.0   Taylorville   Sep 27
10Ava Jansen22:30.5   Mahomet  Sep 17

Projected Team Scores


  1. Mount Zion – 26
  2. Effingham – 69
  3. Mahomet-Seymour – 74
  4. Charleston – 117
  5. Taylorville – 122
  6. Lincoln – 148
  7. Mattoon – 167