Boys’ XC Places Fifth In Sectionals, Qualifies For State


Joey Goodsir

WOODSTOCK, IL – For the first time in ten years, the Boys’ Varsity Cross Country team qualified for the State Championships. Twelve schools participated in the North 2A Sectionals Meet this past Saturday, October 27.

The team included Nate Schmitt, Ben Rosa, Kaleb Whiteside, Casey Hippel, Eli Fietsam, Ethan Lane, and Nick Tegel.

Junior Schmitt took the lead early in the race, but was caught by a Senior from Dixon near the end of the race and finished in second place out of 141 runners. The next runner for Lake Forest to cross the line was Rosa, coming in eighth place, followed by Whiteside (17th), Fietsam, Hippel, Tegel, and Lane.

The sum of the top five places by the LFHS Varsity Boys was 170, narrowly beating Rockford Christian by eight points to secure the state berth. The top five teams at Sectionals qualify for the State meet, and the Scouts placed fifth,

The team is young to make a trip to State, given that the Varsity team has just one senior (Eli Fietsam). Schmitt, Rosa, and Lane are juniors, and the rest of the runners going to State are sophomores.

Nate Schmitt and Ben Rosa have their eye on school records this year. Last year in Track & Field, Rosa beat the school Frosh/Soph record for the mile, with a time of 4:25.52 edging out Billy Bund’s record from 2011 of 4:26.91. Schmitt’s most recent personal best time in the three-mile race, 14:55.53 at this year’s home dual meet against Warren, is getting close to the school record, also held by Billy Bund.

Considering this is their first trip to the State Championship since 2008, the Scouts were thrilled with the result “We have a lot of fun on this team, but also we have been working really hard at practice, so it was nice to see it pay off by making State,” Rosa said. Most of the runners participated in a summer-long cross country camp with Coach Jerina, so they been preparing for this kind of win for a long time.

The IHSA 2A Boys’ Cross Country State Championship will be held this coming Saturday (November 3) at Detweiller Park in Peoria.