The 2020 Chester High School cross country season came to a slow halt Saturday, Oct. 24, at the 2020 Class 1A Marissa Regional Meet. After struggling during the season with a very young and otherwise inexperienced squad, both girls and boys teams barely fielded qualifying teams at the regional competition.
The Lady Jackets finished ninth at regionals with a team score of 267 points. The girls just barely fielded enough runners to qualify with a team score as Hannah Blechle and Melody Colonel were unable to attend. It takes five runners to make a team.
Chester's Josie Kattenbraker was first to finish for the Lady Jackets. Kattenbraker finished 60th out of 70 runners and turned in a time of 26:37.40. Finishing second for CHS was Madison Kribs. The CHS junior finished 62nd overall with a time of 26:41.40, just four seconds behind Kattenbraker.
Amelia Shemonic ended her final season as a CHS cross country runner in 64th overall with a time of 28:54.10 -- approximately eight minutes better than her time Oct. 15 at the 2020 Black Diamond Conference Meet.
Freshman Josalynn Anaya was Chester's fourth finisher. The rookie finished 69th (31:23.10). Senior, rookie cross country runner Katie Shinabargar was the final runner to cross the finish line (31:33.50).
DuQuoin won the team title with a score of 23 points, followed by Pinckneyville (2nd, 53); Murphysboro (3rd, 121); Anna-Jonesboro (4th, 126); Carterville (5th, 148); Vienna (6th, 154); Metropolis-Massac County (7th, 157); Marissa (8th, 170); and Chester (9th, 267).
Cobden, Pope County, Goreville, Marion-Crab Orchard, Sparta, and Steeleville did not field five runners to qualify for a team score.
Ansley Bailey of Metropolis was the 2020 Class 1A Marissa Regional Champion. Bailey won with a time of 18:25.60. Medals were awarded to the top five finishers: Bailey; Olivia Phillips of Du Quoin (2nd, 19:15.70); Lauren Heape of DuQuoin (3rd, 20:14.30); Kallie Oestreicher of DuQuoin (4th, 20:43.20); and Jacqueline Crain of DuQuoin (5th, 20:44.30).
The top five teams advancing to the sectional meet were DuQuoin, Pinckneyville, Murphysboro, Anna-Jonesboro, and Carterville. The top five girls not on a top five team also advance, including Bailey, Katrina King of Vienna, Gracie Markus of Pope County, Sadie Hamilton of Sparta, and Emma Rush of Vienna.
Only three Yellow Jacket runners were able to compete at regionals. Logan Gregory, who led the Jackets throughout the season, was Chester's first runner. The senior finished 56th overall and turned in a time of 20:22.10.
Junior Blake Huffman was the second Chester finisher. Huffman finished 76th overall with a time of 22:48.90. Senior Jordan Hughes was the final CHS runner to cross the finish line (84th, 25:18.90).
The boys team champion was Pinckneyville. The Panthers won with a score of 34 points. Other team finishers were Steeleville (2nd, 72); Anna-Jonesboro (3rd, 84); DuQuoin (4th, 86); Vienna (5th, 123); Carterville (6th, 187); Murphysboro (7th, 208); Goreville (8th, 213); Marissa (9th, 249); Golconda (10th, 287); Marion-Crab Orchard (11th, 295); Sparta (12th, 307); and Metropolis-Massac County (13th, 331). Chester and Cobden did not have a team score.
The top five teams advancing to the sectional meet were Pinckneyville, Steeleville, Anna-Jonesboro, DuQuoin, and Vienna.
Also advancing to sectionals as individuals were Sean Taylor of Carterville (18th, 17:57.10); Cayden Wagner of Marissa (18:04.50); Drew Balmforth of Carterville (18:45.50); Matthew Ryder of Murphysboro (18:49.00); and Lee Craig of Sparta (18:56.20).
Issac Teel of Pinckneyville was the 2020 IHSA Class 1A Champion with a time of 16:00.80. The other four medal winners were Landen Swiney of DuQuoin; Matthew Johnson of Vienna; Daniel Garavaglia of Pinckneyville; and Dylan Bledsoe of Pinckneyville.