Emma Wyman becomes Southwestern’s first conference champion
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
It took a lot of hard work to rebuild and restore the Gillespie High School cross country program, but the Miners struck diamonds at the South Central Conference meet in Piasa Oct. 14.
Led by Chaz Oberkfell (15:47; 2nd place) and Leo Page (17:42; 6th place), the Miner boys became SCC champions for the first time in 23 years and denied Carlinville a third consecutive title.
Oberkfell finished just ten seconds behind Litchfield’s record-breaking superstar and three-time conference victor Camden Quarton for the individual championship medal. Page joined Oberkfell and Quarton on the All-SCC squad alongside Will Meyer (17:13; Carlinville), Matt Dunn (17:20; Carlinville), Michael Wilson (17:31; Greenville), Rhyse Rucker (17:54; Staunton), Bram Beuttel (17:55; Southwestern), Kenny Traylor (17:56; Litchfield), Thor Springman (17:57; Southwestern) and Aiden Green (18:00; Staunton).
The Gillespie girls didn’t field enough runners for a team placement this year, but they had nothing to worry about. The future was bright for them because the current few were mighty and the development numbers were multiplying.
Senior Erika Gill and junior Mia Brawner continued setting the standard for a large up-and-coming Gillespie middle school group. Brawner made the All-Conference team as the fifth place finisher in 22:02 and Gill was right behind her in sixth at 22:06.
Emma Wyman becomes Southwestern’s first SCC champion
On the day in which her high school dedicated its track to the great Gary Bowker, Emma Wyman made history twice.
In addition to becoming Southwestern’s first ever South Central cross country champion, Wyman was the first girl to clear the high school’s course in less than 20 minutes. Her final time was 19:58.
Wyman helped lead Southwestern to a runner-up team ranking. The Birds, which also featured seventh place finisher Reagan Beilsmith (22:38), scored 65 points – second only to SCC champion Litchfield (34).
Second place individual Katrina Campbell (20:51; Greenville), Darby Braasch (21:05; Litchfield), Elyse Eldred (21:42; Carlinville), Brawner, Gill, Joelle Hughes (22:29; Litchfield), Beilsmith, Emma Dively (22:39; Litchfield), Hannah Truax (22:43; Carlinville) and Rilynn Younker (22:49; Litchfield) joined Wyman on the girls’ All-SCC team.