MHS's Kelson shines in early cross country meets

Members of the Mendota cross country team traveled to Ottawa’s home course at Catlin Park on Aug. 29 to challenge runners from Seneca, Hall, Somonauk and host school Ottawa.

The 3-mile girls’ race featured 44 runners and was won by Seneca’s Evelyn O’Connor (20:06). Seneca runners occupied the top five spots to earn a perfect team score of 15. Ottawa (40) placed second in team scoring, with Somonauk (79) finishing third. Mendota failed to complete a team score.

Mendota’s top finishes belonged to Peri Manning (29th, 32:52) and Anna Valdes (35th, 34:11).

In the boys’ varsity event, Anthony Kelson of Mendota traversed the 3-mile course in 17:57 for top honors. Ottawa’s Lucas Farabaugh took second (19:26), while Mendota’s Dagen Setchell rounded out the top three with a 19:41 finish.

Also competing for the Trojans were Ryder Woods (20th, 25:00), Travis Mumm (21st, 25:54), Spencer Kain (23rd, 26:20) and Hector Gonzalez (24th, 26:25).

Team totals had Ottawa first with 28 followed by Seneca (48) and Mendota (55).


Mendota joined 29 Northern Illinois schools in the Oregon Open on Sept. 2.

There were 122 runners in the girls’ varsity race. Ariel Hernandez of Rock Falls won in a time of 20:02, followed by Kaneland’s Danielle Bower (20:24) and East Dubuque’s Avery Engle (20:38).

Mendota was represented by Manning (31:10), Valdes (31:19), Emily Banks (33:51) and Payton Stavropoulos (35:47).

A total of 160 harriers competed in the boys’ varsity event, with the top three spots earned by Weston Forward of Rockford Christian(16:14), Nicolai Martino of Winnebago (16:23) and Lucas Schaab of Sterling Newman (16:46).

MHS’s Kelson medaled at 13th place with a time of 17:47. Setchell was 36th (18:45), while Harlan Gallagher (22:02, 110th), Mumm (25:58, 147th) and Kain (26:02, 149th) rounded out Mendota’s top five.

Carlos Toribio (23:31), Gonzalez (25:08), and Aiden Fisher (27:22) additionally represented Mendota in the JV race.