The Pekin girls cross country team is headed to sectionals.
The key word is team. The Dragons qualified as a team for this weekend’s Class 3A Granite City Sectional at Saturday’s Minooka Regional at water-logged Channahon Community Park.
Runners sloshed through standing water in several locations along the 3-mile course.
The top six of 10 teams in Minooka qualified for the Granite City Sectional and the Dragons placed sixth.
No. 2-ranked Yorkville (22), No. 9-ranked Minooka (42), Lockport (74), Joliet West (156), Moline (166) and Pekin (172) were the sectional qualifiers.
Normal Community (192), Bradley-Bourbonnais (201), Joliet Central (241) and East Moline United Township (257) failed to qualify.
The top five individuals not on qualifying teams also moved on to the Granite City Sectional.
“The course conditions in Minooka were challenging. I can’t imagine anyone on any team ran a PR (personal-record) or season-best time,” said Pekin coach Erika Gilmore. “Thankfully, it wasn’t too chilly.
“I’m proud of our girls for rising to and meeting the challenge of the competition and course obstacles. We’ll continue with the intensity of our practices this week to get ready for the sectional.”
Paige Arseneau led the way for the Dragons at the regional, finishing ninth in 19:06.04. Alex Bassen was 20th in 19:34.17.
Lily Wagemann (40th, 20:53.26), Brianne Nye (48th, 21:11.13) and Madison Vicary (55th, 21:47.52) also scored for Pekin.
Jessica VanDyke (56th, 21:51.31) and Jayvian Riley (59th, 22:10.77) rounded out the Dragons’ lineup.
Sectionals are the last step before the state meet. Girls and boys state meets in all three classes will be Nov. 4 at Detweiller Park in Peoria.
Steve Stein can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.