February 8, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Franzen, Knap have SJO girls’ cross-country team in solid position heading to state

Faring well at Detweiller Park in Peoria is a common sight for the St. Joseph-Ogden High School cross-country team.

This year’s version will look to continue the tradition of a program that boasts state championships in 1990, 2014 and 2016, along with a second-place finish in 2017 and third-place finishes in 2010 and 2015.

SJO placed second at the 21-team Class 1A St. Teresa Regional held last Saturday at Hickory Point Golf Club in Forsyth. That was more than good enough to send the entire team to Peoria for this Saturday’s 1A state meet that gets going at 9 a.m.

SJO compiled 90 points, with Unity winning a sectional title by recording 57 points. Monticello (108), Uni High (109) and Robinson (164) rounded out the top five schools.

Freshman Savanna Franzen finished second at the St. Teresa Sectional, clocking in with a time of 18 minutes, 31.30 seconds. Only sectional champion Kate Ahmari of Uni High had a faster time in 18:05.09.

Senior Ava Knap was the next SJO runner to cross the finish line, doing so in 18:56.65 to take fourth and give SJO two runners in the top four.
Senior Kailyn Ingram placed 23rd in 20:25.67, with sophomore Chloe Burkhalter (20:50.38, 34th) and senior Addie Allen (20:50.63, 35th) finishing with nearly identical times.

The top three teams at the state meet will take home trophies, with the first 25 runners to finish earning All-State honors.

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