Cross Country Owns Conference Title


Jared Juenger, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Okawville High School Cross Country teams recently competed in the Cahokia Conference Meet in Salem, Illinois on Saturday, October 15. This is Okawville’s scecond year in the Conference. Okawville competed in the Illinois Division, the middle-size school division. The teams have been training all season long for this race. Winning conference was a goal of many on the team.

    The meet was held at the Bryan Memorial Park in Salem. The weather conditions were not too harsh on the runners. The day consisted of sunny weather with cooler temperatures. Both races consisted of a maximum of 7 runners per team. All 3 divisions in the Cahokia Conference ran together, with awards and placements being separated by divisions: Kaskaskia(small), Illinois(medium), and Mississippi(large).

    The girls’ race started at 9:30 am. Okawville’s own Caroline Tepe lead the pack the wholel race. Tepe, a freshman, was the champion of the entire Conference, finishing with a time of 17:50 breaking the school record and placing first out of 72 runners. There were a total of 27 runners in the Illinois division. “It’s almost unbelievable to think I could accomplish something like this,” stated Tepe. Lydia Luechtefeld finished in 3rd place in the Illinois division, Lauren Haacke finished 6th, and Sarah Cook rounded out the top 10 in 10th place. These four individuals received All-Conference recognition. Sideny Charles crossed the finish line in 12th, Nora Wood in 14th, and Hannah Miller in 25th. The title of Conference Champion came down to the wire. Okawville finished with a total of 30 points to win the championship by one point over Sparta’s 31. This is the second straight year our girls’ cross country team has won the division.

    The boys’ race then followed at 10:15 am. The boys’ team had been putting in a lot of hard work to win Conference this year, as they came up short last year. Grant Schleifer finished 2nd overall and 1st in the Illinois division with a time of 15:48. He was named the Illinois division champion and also broke the school record. “It’s a huge weight off my shoulders as I have been working towards this goal all of high school,” said Schleifer. Okawville’s top 5 runners were named to All-Conference. Ryker Obermeier placed 3rd in the Illinois divison, Zander Hasheider finished 4th, Nolan Frantz at 6, and Joeseph Jansen in 9th. Rounding out the Rockets were Oliver Gaubatz in 15th and Jared Juenger in 20th. There were 26 runners in the Illinois divison and 95 male runners overall. With an outstanding performance from the Rocket runners, they brought home the first ever Conference win for Okawville Boys Cross Country and out-scoring the second place team, Wesclin, 22-44.

    It is no doubt the teams have improved so much throughout the season. Coach Tepe and Coach Schleifer have pushed them harder than any other year, and the work seems to be paying off. Regionals will take place this Saturday, October 22 in Carterville. The girls’ race will begin at 10 am, followed by the boys’ race at 11 am. Good luck to our Rocket runners in a hopefully successful psotseason!