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Rockford Christian Athletics

Building Champions for Life

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Rockford Christian Athletics

Building Champions for Life

Rockford Christian Athletics

Building Champions for Life

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Walcamp, Kingston – Rockford Christian (1A #9) began championship racing with a first place finish at the Big Northern conference meet on Friday, October 19.  The Royal Lions remain undefeated for the 2020 Covid campaign defeating Dixon  (2A #23) by a score of 25 to 33 points.   The Royal Lions achieved the feat by placing five runners in the top seven out of the 74-man field. Due to Covid restrictions, the meet was organized in an unorthodox fashion of three waves of races that resulted in a match-play style of racing between Dixon and Rockford Christian.   Wave 1 found Tony Chen (Jr.) and Connor Curry (Jr.) paired against all schools' #6 and #7 runners including Dixon’s Dominic Lazano (Sr.) and Brayden Bock (So.) The field totaled 20 runners with two school unable to put forth a full seven man squad. The RC and Dixon quartet quickly separated from the field within the first quarter mile. The pack remained intact throughout the race with both Dukes drafting the Royal Lions. The chess match ended in a final stretch kick battle going to Lazano in 17:12, followed by Chen in 17:15, then Bock in 17:38, and Curry in 17:40. Both Royal Lions ran personal records with Chen finishing 13 th overall -- earning him All-Conference honors for the first time. Curry received BNC Honorable Mention for his efforts, just missing 20 th place in the complied results by .83 seconds.   Wave 2 consisted of all #4 and #5 runners traversing the same 3.0 mile course at Walcamp Ministries after the last competitors from Wave 1 completed their circuit. Race tactics were nearly a carbon copy of the first wave with Rockford Christian’s Adison Elliott (Jr.) and Weston Forward (Fr.) setting the pace for Dixon runners Isaiah Kuehl (Sr.) and Jack Johnson (So.) through the first two miles. The results, however, were much different with the Royal Lions pulling away hard by over 20 seconds in the final mile for the 1-2 second wave win. Elliott and Forward ran personal bests of 16:35 and 16:36, respectfully. Each earned All-Conference honors finishing 5 th and 6 th overall in the compiled results. Forward’s time also makes him the seventh fastest RC freshman in program history.   Wave 3, comprised of all eleven conference teams’ 1-2-3 runners, again matched Dixon’s top runners consisting of Dixon’s Brock Drengenberg (Sr.), Cadyn Grafton (Sr.), and Jacksen Ortgiesen (So.) against RC’s senior co-captains D’Artagnon Beaver (Sr.) and Stephen Thomas (Sr.) who were joined by   teammate Ethan Walsh (Jr.). This final wave race found Dixon’s top two leading a tightly packed group through the first mile in 5:25. Several BNC opponents not wearing purple/white stripes or blue/gold checkerboards found themselves in the mix for the first time during the competition. Matthew Marcum (Jr.) of Rock Falls and Samuel Lewis (Sr.) of Byron trailed not far behind the Duke and Royal Lion trios. After the first mile, however, the pace dropped with the Dixon Dukes surging. Beaver, Thomas, and Walsh were the only runners able to match the move -- with all other harriers significantly lagging by the two mile. The leaders split 2 miles in 10:40. Dregenberg and Grafton continued to cut down the pace and finished shoulder to shoulder in 15:50. Beaver and Thomas went 3-4 in 16:04 and 16:16 (just missing their lifetime PRs) but each earning their fourth BNC All-Conference distinction. Walsh crossed the line fifth in the wave and fifth overall with a 22 second personal best of 16:33. Marcum (Rock Falls) and Lewis (Byron) were sixth and seventh in the wave, but were topped by runners from the second wave, and ended up in 9th and 11th place. Dixon’s designated #3 was unable to keep pace with the chase pack and appeared to cross the finish line with an injury finishing in 18 th place with all complied results.    Dixon had bested RC in four consecutive conference meets dating back to 2016 when the Dukes won with a sixth man tiebreak. Rockford Christian’s last BNC title was in 2015 when the conference contained 16 schools. The 2020 victory by the “You Know” program is the third BNC team title in nine years for Rockford Christian since moving from the Northeastern Athletic Conference in 2011. It is the eighth team conference title in program history with a total of 76 Royal Lions earning All-Conference honors in 21 seasons.   Complete team and individual results can be found at the following link: https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/175873/results/750318 ...

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Byron Forest Preserve, Illinois   --  Rockford Christian  ( #8 1A ) defeated BNC opponent Byron  by a score of 15 to 49 points on Tuesday, October 6. The Royal Lions remain undefeated complying an overall record of 5-0 with three perfect scores. Co-captain Stephen Thomas (Sr.) took top honors running 16:40 on the hilly 2.87 course. This was his third individual victory of the season.   Co-captain D'Artagnon Beaver (Sr.), Weston Forward (Fr.), Ethan Walsh (Jr.) and Adison Elliott (Jr.) completed the sweep finishing 2-3-4-5, respectively. The lion pack had just a 36 second split from Thomas to Elliott. Samuel Lewis (Sr.) was the lone Byron Tiger to break up the RC top 7 finishing in 17:19 for 6th place. Tony Chen (Jr.) and Connor Curry (Jr.) finished 7-8 both with a time of 17:28.  Complete results are available here: https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/182712/results ...

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