By Mark Jurgena
Catalina Jiminez-Magana battled an illness and a top-flight field at the Class 3A Normal Sectional to put together a solid, competitive time on October 29.
“Unfortunately she was sick going into regionals, but I was pleasantly surprised she qualified (for sectionals) because she mentioned how tough it was to breathe,” said Collinsville coach Darryl Frerker. “Cross country is not the easiest sport in the world, I told her that if she was feeling sick she didn’t have to run. Sectionals are a feather in the cap. She was like, ‘no, I want to go, I want to go.’ I thought that was absolutely awesome.”
Jiminez-Magana, a sophomore who ran cross country for the first time in her life this season, ran a 23:40.16 for the three-mile course.
“She got out well with the girls from our region,” Frerker said. “The middle of the race was difficult for her with the cold catching up with her. But she stayed competitive. She settled in competing with three other girls around her coming in at the finish and she did beat those three girls.”
Minooka won the sectional title with 63 points outpointing Oswego (East) who came in with 114 points. Edwardsville finished one point behind in 3rd place.
Audra Soderlind of Oswego East took the individual crown with a time of 17:51.16 beating Maya Ledesma of Minooka by eight seconds. They were the only two under 18 minutes for the race.