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Gillespie cross country teams victorious at Southwestern Invite, second at home meet

Chaz Oberkfell, pictured running for the Gillespie High School cross country team, won the inaugural Jack Burns Invitational Sept. 19 and achieved a runner-up ranking in the top flight of the Southwestern Invite at Piasa Sept. 30. Photo courtesy of the Gillespie Cross Country Facebook page.


Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Whether its from home or on the road, the members of a rising Gillespie cross country program are remaining hard at work while continuing to compile milestones.

Southwestern Invite

The GHS boys came out on top in a tight battle with Litchfield for the title at Piasa Sept. 30
The three-mile high school races were divided into eight separate flights, with each athlete grouped based on seasonal performance and team impact.

Chaz Oberkfell took second place in the first flight with a time of 15:58, trailing only Litchfield’s Cam Quarton, who set a meet record.

Leo Page set a new personal mark of 17:51 and won the second flight.

Hank Fletcher also set a personal record of his own at 17:54 to seize the third flight.

Marshall Garwood took fifth place in flight four with a 20:39 time.

Rounding out the boys’ scoring was Carter Sies, who won the fifth flight in 19:31.

Matthew Plovich (20:35) took second place in flight six.

Lucca Kapp (22:11) was fourth in the seventh flight.

A.J. Reisinger ran the eighth flight in 24:49.

Erika Gill was Gillespie’s lone high school competitor for the day, winning the second flight in 22:31.

The GMS girls also won a tough two-mile meet by a single point over Jerseyville.

Paige Swank – third (13:20), Harper Thackrey – seventh (13:56), Ella Brawner – ninth (14:16), Giana Kapp – 14th (15:12), and Lyla Drewel – 22nd (16:43) all ranked amongst the 25 individuals that received medals.

Madisyn Thomas finished in 42nd place (20:06).

The GMS boys ranked fourth as a team with three medalists in Thodrick Dirks – second (11:39), Nolan Ruyle – 12th (12:48) and Asher Putnam – 16th (13:05).

GMS was additionally represented by Nolan Hostettler – 27th (14:20), Michael Yeager – 34th (15:27), Holden Sies – 39th (17:43), Bryce Stoecker – 41st (18:32) and Gabe Yeager – 50th (24:56).

Jack Burns Invitational

Both of the GMS teams ranked runner-up behind Litchfield at the inaugural Jack Burns Invite.

In the boys’ race, Ruyle came in third. Dirks placed fifth. Putnam finished in 10th.

Swank (second), Thackrey (fourth), Brawner (fifth), Kapp (eighth) and Drewel (ninth) led the charge for the GMS girls.

The high school race was headlined by Oberkfell, who finished first overall. Page came in ninth, Fletcher in 14th, Carter Sies in 19th and Matthew Plovich in 20th, leading the boys to a second place finish behind PORTA. Gillespie outpaced Carlinville, Staunton and Southwestern.

For the GHS girls, Mia Brawner led the way in fourth and Erika Gill followed in ninth.