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The Roundup, Nov. 4, 2023: Full results and top performers in state XC, soccer, football, swimming

Saturday was a loaded day across the state in high school sports, with Peoria turning into the cross country capital of Illinois with the boys and girls state races for all three classes being held at Detweiller Park in Peoria.

PND and Normal U-High competed in state championships in soccer in Hoffman Estates while local girls swim and dive teams began their postseason at sectionals in Normal and East Moline.

A slate of eight playoff games involving local squads resulted in big wins for Normal Community, Washington and more.

Saturday's edition of The Roundup is free but to get access to all of our daily roundups for the upcoming winter and spring seasons, plus news, feature stories, photo galleries and more from high school sports around Peoria and Bloomington/Normal, subscribe here!

In cross country:

Class 1A Girls: Peoria Notre Dame led four local teams that qualified for state with a third-place finish, led by three top-50 finishes from Meghan Zopel, Sarah Couri and Julia Mingus. Eureka was not far behind PND’s total of 224 points, with the Hornets getting 231 to finish fourth. The Hornets’ Meika Bender was the highest-placing local finisher in 20th with a time of 17:53.77 and Bre Lehman came across the line in 38th with an 18:35.76. Knoxville came in fifth with a 270, led by Alyssa Higgins finishing 26th. El Paso-Gridley took 12th, with the Titans’ fastest runner being Caroline Wettstein with a clocking of 18:28.63 (32nd). Elmwood’s Addie Symmonds took home a top-40 finish in 39th at 18:36.78 and Tremont’s Ava Proehl also ran as an individual and finished 53rd with an 18:54.14.

Class 1A Boys: Three area teams finished in the top 10, led by Elmwood’s third-place finish with 166 points. The Trojans’ Isaiah Hill earned all-state honors with a fifth-place finish in 14:48.95. Aiden Faulkner and Mika Nelson also finished in the top 50 for Elmwood. Eureka came in fifth with a 215, including Carson Lehman running a 15:45.04 (36th) with teammate Andrew Perry (15:46.44) right behind him in 38th. Peoria Notre Dame finished 7th and featured two starring performances from Maxwell Kirby (15:21.30) and Joe Ehrhart (15:22.15) in 20th and 23rd, respectively. Dean Witzig’s 16th place finish in 15:15.88 led El Paso-Gridley, who finished 14th. Princeville’s Tucker Sennett ran as an individual and finished 82nd with a 16:14.55.

Class 2A Girls: Washington capped off a spectacular season, finishing fourth and getting three top-50 finishes from Madeleine James (18:06.95, 28th), Jayne Hermann (18:07.62, 29th) and Sophia Ramirez (18:17.17, 40th). Normal U-High, Dunlap and Morton all took 16th-18th in order. The Pioneers received outstanding top-10 finishes from Natalie Bierbaum in fourth with a 16:41.45 and Zoe Carter in fifth with a 17:08.56. Abby Tudeen led Dunlap in 33rd with an 18:12.64 and Morton’s duo of Avery Braker and Sophia Krueger finished back-to-back in 61st and 62nd. Metamora came in 26th and was led by Audrey Heil’s 19:15.26.

Class 2A Boys: Morton squeezed into fifth place to lead all area boys teams, totaling 225 points. The Potters’ Yonas Wuthrich (15:00.89) and Josh Weeks (15:05.26) earned top-20 finishes in 14th and 19th, respectively. Normal U-High took ninth, keyed by Mason Hart’s 24th-place showing. Washington had one of its highest finishes in team history with a 12th-place showing, led by Ben Gorsage’s time of 15:12.88 in 29th. Dunlap took 24th with Charlie Serrahn (15:57.55) being the leading Eagle.

Class 3A Girls: Pekin’s Morgan Coker ran as an individual, coming in 119th with a time of 18:41.16, as did Normal Community’s Ali Ince, who recently committed to the University of Oregon for track, who came across the line in 19:16.00

Class 3A Boys: Devon Hayes from Pekin finished in the top 100 with a 15:24.02 clocking, while Normal Community’s Joey Yaros came in 136th with a 15:36.21.

In boys soccer:

Crystal Lake South 2, Peoria Notre Dame 1: The PND Irish were denied back-to-back state titles after a late push wasn’t enough to force extra time. The Gators struck first with a goal from Nico Velasco in the 25th minute, then Nick Prus scored early in the second half to give CLS a 2-0 lead. Declan Schuler netted what would be PND’s only goal in the 58th minute after an assist from Kayden Hudson but Crystal Lake South goalkeeper Chris Slawek kept PND out of the net for the rest of the contest and had eight saves. PND keeper Teddy Dimler had six saves of his own and both teams recorded 13 total shots. PND finishes the season with a 22-2-3 record and their fifth state runner-up finish in school history.

Winnetka North Shore Country Day 2, Normal U-High 0: The Pioneers fell one step short of a Class 1A state title in a 2-0 defeat. NCSD beat Normal U-High goalie Noah Grieshaber with a goal in the fourth minute by Henry Gallun, then early on in the second half as well on a score by Leif Steele, who also assisted on Gallun’s goal. Normal U-High had two shots on goal to NCSD’s six. The Pioneers’ historic season comes to a close with a 21-6-2 record, the second highest win total in school history.

In football:

Washington 21, Crete-Monee 0: Washington broke through a punt-fest between both teams in the first half with a dominant ground game in the second half that helped them defeat Crete-Monee in the playoffs for the first time in three tries. Panthers running back Kainon McQueary scampered 60 yards to the Crete-Monee 1-yard line before Hunter Reed finished the drive off. Later in the third, McQueary took a screen pass from Tyler Humphrey 37 yards to the house to make it 14-0 Washington, then added a short touchdown run in the fourth quarter after Washington recovered an onside kick. Washington’s defense was stellar, getting two sacks apiece from Carter Prina, Garrett Cox and Jase Harlan, along with interceptions by Tyler Brown and Noah Bell. The Panthers will hit the road to take on Chatham Glenwood in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Normal Community 32, Bradley-Bourbonnais 31: The Ironmen shook the second-round demons that haunted them after a loss by the same score to Pekin last year; this time around Normal Community came out on top in a thrilling overtime victory. NC’s Kyle Beaty used some trickery in the first quarter, faking a punt and tossing a 45-yard touchdown to tight end Dexter Niekamp for the first score of the game. The Boilermakers tied the game on the first of three touchdown passes from Ethan Kohl to Luke Allen. Ironmen kicker Will Castro booted an important 32-yard field goal early in the second before Beaty called his own number from nine yards out to make it 17-7 Normal Community with 6:47 left before halftime and Mar’Quan Gary caught a score from Beaty. Eventually in the third, Bradley-Bourbonnais got another touchdown reception from ? to cut Normal Community’s lead to 24-21, then tied it with a field goal with just over 90 seconds left to go in the game. Tommy Davis ran in for a two-yard score on the first possession in overtime to be the Ironmen’s hero before the Boilermakers responded with a Kenvontae Sutton rushing touchdown on their final chance. The visitors went for two and the receiver dropped an acrobatic catch, leaving Normal Community to storm the field in celebration. The Ironmen will travel to Glenbard East for their quarterfinal game on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Bloomington Central Catholic 27, Farmington 15: The Saints led comfortably most of the way against a talented Farmington team in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs, largely in part to quarterback Colin Hayes’ 167 rushing yards, 108 passing yards and three total touchdowns. Hayes scored a 44-yard touchdown on the ground that was sandwiched between field goals from Warren Tomczak to take 13-0 lead. Farmington scored on the final play of the first half on a 26-yard pass and catch from Lane Wheelwright to Jack Gronewold. Hayes added a one-yard rushing score and a 51-yard touchdown pass to TJ Larson to give BCC all they needed for a trip to the quarterfinals, where they will travel to 2-seed Maroa-Forsyth. The Farmers’ 2023 campaign ends at 9-2. Will Adelman chipped in 89 rushing yards for BCC while Wheelwright added 169 total yards for Farmington.

Olympia 40, Greenville 20: The Olympia Spartans are heading to the quarterfinals in Class 3A in back-to-back years for the first time in school history after giving Greenville it’s only loss of the season. The Spartans and Comets were tied after the first, but Olympia took a 20-13 lead at the half, then scored midway through the third to give themselves some breathing room at 26-13. The Spartans will host 3-seed Roxana in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Highland 41, Metamora 36: Metamora came back from a second quarter deficit and took a 30-20 lead heading into the final quarter down south, but three touchdowns from Highland in the final frame ended the Redbirds’ season at 8-3.

Harrisburg 27, PND 22: The Irish fell in a heartbreaker on the road in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs as Harrisburg scored the winning touchdown in the final minute of the game. The Irish scored with three minutes left in the game on a 9-yard touchdown run from quarterback Liam O’Neill and Phillip Rupiper gave PND a 22-21 lead on the two-point conversion. O’Neill added rushing scores of two and 20 yards in the first half for the Irish, who end their season at 6-5.

East St. Louis 54, Normal West 7: The mighty Flyers were too much for Normal West to handle in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs. East St. Louis scored all eight touchdowns in the first half, inducing a running clock that gave the Wildcats no chance to come back. Normal West ends its season at 8-3.

Wilmington 42, Tri-Valley 14: Tri-Valley’s bid to return to the Class 2A state finals for the second year in a row fell short in a home loss to 9-1 Wilmington. The Vikings cap off the year with a 10-1 record.

In girls swim and dive:

At Normal: Washington took home the team crown at the Normal Community Sectional with 230 points, 33 ahead of runner-up Normal Community. The Ironmen two relay teams, both consisting of Piper Lowder, Kenna Malinowski, Lyndsey Hackman and Ava Johnson, to state in the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyles. Malinowski will also compete at state in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyles after winning both races on Saturday. Bloomington’s Allison Straub is state-bound in the 200-yard IM and 100-yard butterfly, as is Pekin’s Izzy Kula in the 200-yard freestyle. Bloomington’s Leah Gardner and Reese Huber, as well as Normal Wests’ Lexi Rankin took home the top three spots in diving. Metamora won the 200-yard medley relay and the Redbirds’ team of Addison Robinson, Tatum Points, Ava Peplowski and Ella Peplowski will be heading to state.

At East Moline: Dunlap’s Ava Salverson headlined the local swimmers at the East Moline Sectional, winning both the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke to qualify for state. Ally Unruh will also represent the Eagles at state after taking home the 500-yard freestyle title, along with teammates Katie Unger and Annie Yingling who took first and second in diving. Bailey Amerman of PND advanced with a win in the 100-yard backstroke.

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