The Immaculate Conception boys and girls cross country teams competed at the Class 1A Aurora Christian Regional Saturday at Oakhurst Forest Preserve.
The Knights needed top-seven finishes in the respective 13-team fields to advance to the Lisle Sectional Oct. 29.
The IC girls team qualified with a seventh-place finish. It's the first time in the history of girls cross country at IC that a team has qualified for the sectional meet.
They were lead by sophomore Rachel Hill, who placed 24th with a time of 20:28.3. The best race of the day game from junior Kelly Kremske (28th 20:59.1) who out kicked seven runners before entering the chute.
"They all ran a strong race and I'm very proud of them," head coach Jeff Fredrickson said.
Other IC finishers were Rebeccah Strickland (40th, 21:48.4), Megan Sutton (45th, 22:19.9), Maria Kieliszewski (51st, 23:14.5), Michelle Eguia (61st, 24:23.9) and Amy Ridder (62nd, 25:08.8).
On the boys team, Brian Anzures has been working very hard this year and it has paid off, Fredrickson said. He qualified for the Lisle sectional by finishing 38th (18:38).
"I'm very pleased with Brian's performance today. We have a young team and they have a year under their belt and will be ready for next year," Fredrickson said.
Other IC finishers were Blaine Manning (47th, 19:35.4), Andy Valdivia (52nd., 20:04.6), Brendan Doherty (60th, 20:55.5), Joey Dones (69th, 23:41.5) and Krystian Seebert (71st, 24:33.5).
On Oct. 14, the Knights competed at the Suburban Christian Conference Championships at Marmion Academy in Aurora. The varsity girls (262 points) finished ninth with three key runners missing from the lineup. Kelly Kremske was 44th (22:56), followed by Megan Sutton (53rd, 24:39), Maria Kieliszewski (61st, 25:35), Amy Ridder (66th, 29:41) and Brenna Langan (67th, 29:45).
“I told the girls they needed to step up to the challenge,” Fredrickson said. “Kelly ran a great race and answered the call. She has been very dependable this year.”
Sophomore and usual No. 1 finisher Rachel Hill and Rebeccah Strickland competed in the frosh-soph race and Michelle Eguia was out with illness. Hill was seventh (22:26.0) and Strickland took 16th (24:17.0) in their race. Both runners were battling colds.
“Rachel ran a gutsy race, and Rebeccah outkicked a girl at the finish,” Fredrickson said.
Brian Anzures (46th, 19:54) and Krystian Seebret (56th, 26:05) competed in the varsity boys race. Anzures has had limited practice since injuring his calf muscle at the Elmwood Park Invitational Oct. 6.
In the frosh-soph race, Blaine Manning (21:23) and Andy Valdivia (21:24) were 27th and 28th, followed by Brendan Doherty (36th, 22:34) and Joey Dones (43rd, 26:08).
“Blaine and Andy have been battling for the No. 1 spot all season. And Brendan Doherty has become a solid No. 3 runner (on frosh-soph),” Fredrickson said. “Joey is like the little engine. He has been sick, but he kept chugging away.”
The Immaculate Conception volleyball team clinched the Suburban Christian Conference Gold Division title for the second year in a row by defeating Wheaton Academy 25-19, 25-15 Oct. 19 in West Chicago. The Knights (21-9) won this year's title outright with a 9-1 record after sharing last year’s SCC Gold crown with Aurora Central Catholic with 8-2 records.
Last season marked the program’s first conference title since 1988. Top IC performers in the victory were Delaney D’Amore (11 kills, 10 digs, block), Liz Martino (18 assists, 2 aces), Emily Hartnett (7 kills) and Kellyanne Remy (2 kills, 3 blocks).
The success didn't stop there. For the first time in program history, IC captured volleyball conference titles on all three levels in the same season. The sophomores also were outright champs and the freshmen were co-champions with Wheaton Academy.
The Knights are the No. 3 seed in the Class 2A Westmont Regional and open action at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 against No. 6-seed Aurora Christian. The winner plays at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 against No. 2 Lisle or No. 7 Walther Lutheran. The regional final is at 6 p.m. Oct. 27. Timothy Christian is the No. 1 seed.