State champion junior high runners
Monroe County celebrated two state champion junior high cross country teams on Saturday.
The Waterloo Junior High School girls cross country team won the Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association Class L State Meet in DuQuoin behind Lydia Huffman’s first place overall run.
Huffman, the seventh grade daughter of Waterloo High School cross country and track coach Larry Huffman, won her race by 17 seconds. She was followed by Reese Davis-Grandcolas in 12th place, Charley Funk in 13th place, Hazel Rau in 17th place and Erin Lunk in 50th place.
Dupo’s McCullough Miller placed 39th overall.
The WJHS boys team placed second at state, led by a third place finish from Liam Gilbert. He was followed by Kian Day in 13th, Mason Wilhelm in 27th, Adam Gilbert in 32nd, Cannon Hensiek in 33rd, Hagen Day in 38th and Dean Baldwin in 43rd place.
Dupo’s Carter Lumpkins placed 11th at state.
The Immaculate Conception School boys cross country team brought home an SIJHSAA Class S first place trophy to Columbia for the first time. Nicholas Holdener was the top runner for the Crusaders in 14th place.
Five ICS runners behind Holdener – a regional champ – stayed together as a pack, pushing each other all the way to the finish. Second across the line for the Crusaders was Owen Keefe in 22nd, followed by Nicholas Wahle in 24th, Will Dalpoas in 27th, Kelton Hines in 28th, and Dante Gianino in 31st place. Noah Burns finished in 73rd place.
The Crusaders finished with a team score of 67, defeating the second place team by over 40 points.
Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic School runner Colby Kincheloe placed 18th overall to become that school’s first all-state medalist.
The ICS girls team placed third overall at state, led by Grace Jansen in 24th place, followed by Lillian Braun in 30th, Faith Jansen in 32nd, Sophie Conrad in 35th, Isabel Roche in 36th, Maria Holdener in 64th and Emelia Doerr in 77th place.