MHS's Kelson races to title of Gary Coates Invitational

Mendota’s Anthony Kelson is all alone ahead of the field on his way to a first-place finish in the Gary Coates Invitational on Sept. 9 at Princeton. (Photo courtesy of Bureau County Republican)

Mendota High School’s cross country team traveled to Fuller Forest in Rockford on Sept. 6 to compete against seven Northern Illinois schools. The event was hosted by Winnebago.

In the girl’s race, Winnebago’s Morgan Capriola placed first in a time of 12:53 on the 2.05 mile course. Teammate Reese Erdahl earned second in 13:21, while Rebecca Krein of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy (OLSHA)  rounded out the top three.

Mendota’s top finish belonged to Anna Valdes (30th,18:23).  Emily Banks (21:04) and Payton Stavropoulos (21:29) also competed for the Lady Trojans.

Winnebago had the top team score (18 points) followed by Lanark Eastland (64), Genoa-Kingston (79), Durand (96) and OLSHA (100)

In the 55-member boys’ event, Nicolai Martino of Winnebago took top honors in a time of 10:13.  His teammate, Joseph Erb (10:42), placed second, while Mendota’s Anthony Kelson (10:55), earned third.

Additionally for the Trojans, Dagen Setchell (11:46) placed 10th, while Harlan Gallagher (23rd, 13:23) and Ryder Woods (24th, 13:25) finished in the top half of the field. Other Mendota finishers were Carlos Toribio (14:39), Travis Mumm (14:46), Hector Gonzalez (15:16), Spencer Kain (15:44), Kyan Cooper (17:26), Aidan Fisher (17:37) and Dawson McPheeters (21:01).

Winnebago’s 18 points were ahead of Durand’s 71 and Mendota’s 80. Genoa-Kingston tallied 84 for fourth, while OLSHA (132) and North Boone (150) completed the team scoring.


MHS runners competed in the 50th Annual Gary Coates Invitational on Sept. 9 in Princeton.

In the varsity girls’ run, Elly Heineke of Lowpoint-Washburn ran to a first-place finish of 20:15.

Mendota was represented by Peri Manning (57th, 28:52), Valdes (59th, 29:06) and Banks (64th, 31:09).

Sherrard and Lowpoint-Washburn each tallied 36 points, with Sherrard winning the tiebreaker for the title.

In the varsity boys’ race, MHS’s Kelson defeated the field of 66 with a time of 16:49. Newman’s Lucas Simpson (17:05) placed second and Mercer County’s Corbin Sturgill (17:15) was third. Dagen Setchell also provided Mendota with a top 10 finish, going 18:03. Others representing the Trojans were Mumm (24:06), Cooper (26:43) and Fisher (27:07).

Mercer County took top team honors with 48, just edging out Newman’s 49, with LP placing third with 73.  Mendota finished with 121 points, tying with Morris, but losing the tiebreaker, thus placing seventh.

Sherrard’s Alex Belha finished the 1.94-mile course in 11:14 to win the freshman-sophomore race. Gallagher (10th, 12:17), Woods (14th, 12:45), Carlos Toribio (22nd, 13:49), Gonzalez (23rd, 14:00) and Kain (29th, 14:57) each medaled for Mendota. 

Sherrard won the team scoring with 26, followed by Bureau Valley (39). Mendota completed the top three with 62 points.