ALTON - Marquette Catholic's cross-country girls have always been top-notch in the post-season, but this year, after battling some injuries, the group posted a fourth-place finish in the Trenton-Wesclin Regional to advance to the sectional.

Marquette Catholic head coach Tim Turnbeaugh said he was so proud of his girls for what they had to overcome to place so high as a team in the regional.

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Paige Rister was 17th at the regional with a 21:06.2 time on the three-mile Trenton-Wesclin High School course. Kailey Vickrey was 26th with a time of 21;47.9, Hudson McCowan was 31st in 22:07.0, Katie Johnson was 34th in a clocking of 22:23.4, Cassidy Eccles had a time of 24:09.3 for 55th place and Ava Certa was 62nd in 24:46.2.

The Explorers’ senior girls were Kailey Vickrey, Hudson McCowan, and Claire Antrainer. Junior members were Paige Rister, Ava Certa, and Katie Johnson.

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Turnbeaugh said Kailey Vickrey came on at the end of the season after some injuries and sickness and was a key in the regional advancement to sectional. She is a senior and looking forward to track and field, the coach said. Coach Turnbeaugh said Vickrey's hopes for a time in the 2:20s in the 800 in the spring. Rister was the girls' cross country team MVP for her efforts and was sensational all season, the coach said. Johnson also was a key to the girls' success and was one of the three team leaders.

“Paige is a workhorse and leads by example with results,” the coach added. “Johnson is a young junior and might have some growth physically over the next year. Her parents are runners and I think that also makes a difference for her.”

McCowan and Antrainer are both soccer players and had to share some of their time there this season, but they also did an excellent job along with Eccles and Certa, Coach Turnbeaugh said.

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