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Cross country: Gillespie’s Chaz Oberkfell becomes all-state runner, Wyman represents Southwestern

Chaz Oberkfell became Gillespie’s first All-State cross country athlete since 2000 as well as the first GHS non-senior to acheive this distinction at the IHSA Class 1A state meet in Peoria last weekend. Oberkfell ranked 21st amongst 256 of the best runners in Illinois with a personal best time of 15:21 and brought home a medal. Photo courtesy of the Gillespie Cross Country Facebook page.


Blackburn College teams close season at SLIAC meet

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Gillespie High School cross country runner Chaz Oberkfell had never been more tired after a race than he was at the conclusion of the Illinois High School Association Class 1A state meet at Peoria, and fittingly so. The cornerstone of the South Central Conference champion Miners left it all out on the course and, in doing so, brought home an IHSA medal.

In just his sophomore season, Oberkfell became an all-state athlete as he ran what his coaches described as “a brilliant race” in 15:21. This new personal record ranked Oberkfell 21st amongst the best 256 male 1A runners in Illinois.
Oberkfell, who had only been training long distance for six and a half months, went down in history as Gillespie’s first All-State cross country athlete since 2000 while becoming GHS’ first non-senior to acheive this distinction.

Oberkfell was joined at state by Southwestern senior Emma Wyman. Wyman, who recently became the first South Central Conference cross country champion in Piasa history, closed her high school career with a 101st place finish in 19:40. Wyman ended the day in the upper tier of 258 1A female runners.

Emma Wyman represented Southwestern High School at the IHSA Class 1A girls’ cross country meet in Peoria last weekend. Wyman closed her high school career with a 101st place finish amongst 258 runners in 19:40. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern High School Facebook page.

Blackburn College teams close season at SLIAC meet

In other local cross country action, the Blackburn College teams recently closed their season at the SLIAC meet.

The women ranked seventh overall and the men came in ninth.

This proved to be the most challenging race for the Beavers due to it taking place on a longer course.

The women journeyed a 6K distance while the men knocked out an 8K venture.

Pacing the Beaver women was junior Olivia Leemon, who took 18th place in a time of 27:26 and fell just two spots and four seconds shy of earning an All-Conference selection. Her efforts also earned her SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team honors for the third time in her career.

Freshman Kailynn Kruep finished in 32:35.88, followed by Gracie Jent (34:12.51), Elizabeth Morris (36:12.42) and Ashanti Jones (41:57.62) in the Beavers’ ‘fab five.’

Freshman Ella Wilson also ran for BC and her time of 46.26.09 proved the difference between Blackburn and Mississippi University for Women. Wilson’s ranking was what allowed the Beavers to take seventh overall via a tiebreaker.

Freshman Sam Burrows finished in 30:42.58 for the Blackburn men.

Senior Luis Alvarado clocked out for the year at 31:09.61, but not before earning his second-straight SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team selection.

Two freshmen for BC nearly tied as Ulises Espinoza crossed the finished line in 37:33.16 with Christian Miller beside him within the same time interval at 37:33.92.

Chaz Oberkfell’s older brother, Collyn, rounded out the Beavers’ rotation with a time of 37:52.30.