WHS girls runnin’ down a dream

Pictured with the regional plaque Saturday in Alhambra, from left, are Waterloo High School cross country runners Ella King, Emma Rick, Laurin Lunk, Sydney Haddick, Colleen Sliment and Jenna Schwartz. (submitted photo)

The Waterloo High School girls cross country team won its second straight Class 2A regional title Saturday at Alhambra.

Junior runner Jenna Schwartz won her third straight individual regional title to lead the Bulldogs, with junior teammate Ella King placing second and sophomore Sydney Haddick taking fifth overall.

Schwartz broke the course record with a time of 17:41.21. King’s time was 18:56.73 and Haddick’s time was 19:43.06.

Other top runners for the WHS girls were Colleen Sliment in 18th place and Laurin Lunk in 24th place.

“The girls ran a really smart race and paced the race evenly instead of taking it out hard from the gun,” Waterloo cross country coach Larry Huffman said. “They passed a lot of girls in the second half of the race.  Jenna Schwartz continues to be a strong leader for the team.”

Schwartz, who placed sixth at state with a school record time of 17:22 last year and was 24th at state as a freshman, will try to make it three straight state appearances as the team runs this Saturday at the Decatur Sectional.

The WHS girls cross country team placed 13th at state last year and hopes to make a return trip to Peoria.

The WHS boys also qualified for Saturday’s sectional, placing second as a team at the regional. 

Sophomore Eli Ward led the Bulldogs with a third place finish, running a time of 15:57.63. Fellow sophomore Jackson McAlister placed seventh overall with a time of 16:30.42.

Other top runners for the WHS boys were Cayden Kirkham in 10th place and David Lunk in 12th place.

“I was really excited for both teams this weekend,” Huffman said. “On the boys side, Eli Ward had a great race.” 

In the Class 1A New Athens Regional, the Columbia boys placed third and the Gibault boys placed fifth to advance to the sectional. 

Columbia was led by Eli King in 10th place (17:04), Ethan Sturm in 11th place (17:07) and Josh Foster in 19th place (17:33). 

Gibault was led by Liam Brauer in 12th place (17:14) and Elgin Scherff in 28th place (17:58).

On the girls side, Gibault’s Brooke Biffar and Mel Rueter, Valmeyer’s Willa Sauer, Columbia’s Ainsley Jacobus and Dupo’s Mercedes Ramirez all qualified for the sectional taking place this Saturday.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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