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
|11||Becca Heitzig||17:16.8||Lincoln||Sep 10|
|12||Sofia Munoz||18:14.6||Mt. Zion||Oct 1|
|11||Ellie Fritzsche||18:45.4||Mt. Zion||Oct 1|
|11||Ava Boyd||18:48.5||Mahomet||Sep 17|
|11||Camille Mavis||19:15.7||Mt. Zion||Oct 1|
|10||Jessica Larsen||19:30.9||Effingham||Sep 17|
|11||Renee Ballard||19:31.3||Mt. Zion||Oct 1|
|10||Chloe Bundren||19:33.3||Mahomet||Sep 17|
|11||Brooke Doyle||19:39.5||Mt. Zion||Oct 1|
|9||Baylee Summers||20:12.5||Effingham||Sep 10|
|12||Ila Richter||20:13.8||Charleston||Sep 21|
|11||Ella Goodman||20:22.0||Taylorville||Sep 27|
|12||Whitley Wood||20:25.0||Charleston||Sep 21|
|9||Avery Sommer||20:41.0||Mt. Zion||Sep 27|
|11||Audrey Wagoner||20:49.7||Effingham||Aug 27|
|11||Hallie Smith||21:04.0||Taylorville||Sep 27|
|10||Haddie Hill||21:08.2||Effingham||Sep 21|
|11||Hailey Betzer||21:10.5||Mt. Zion||Sep 3|
|9||Hadley Grotelueschen||21:17.1||Mahomet||Sep 17|
|12||Callie Jansen||21:21.6||Mahomet||Aug 27|
|10||Morgan Springer||21:36.7||Effingham||Sep 21|
|11||Oaklie Layton||21:39.4||Mattoon||Sep 21|
|10||Morgan Waisath||21:40.4||Mahomet||Aug 27|
|11||Lauren Bednar||21:59.6||Mahomet||Aug 27|
|12||Alexia Finch||21:59.9||Mt. Zion||Oct 1|
|10||Mallory Short||22:00.0||Lincoln||Sep 24|
|9||Jinan Abdo||22:19.2||Mahomet||Sep 17|
|10||Amber Weiss||22:21.9||Charleston||Oct 1|
|12||Allison Miller||22:22.7||Effingham||Sep 3|
|10||Sydney Lowis||22:24.0||Taylorville||Sep 27|
|10||Ava Jansen||22:30.5||Mahomet||Sep 17|
Projected Team Scores
- Mount Zion – 26
- Effingham – 69
- Mahomet-Seymour – 74
- Charleston – 117
- Taylorville – 122
- Lincoln – 148
- Mattoon – 167