Rich East Ugbesia is Southland Athletic Conference Champion

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Diamonte Ugbesia, a senior from Rich East High School, won the Southland Athletic Conference Cross Country championship on Saturday, Oct. 18 at Crete-Monee High School. Ugbesia won the race with a time of 16 minutes, 59 seconds, on a wet, soggy and muddy course. His teammate, freshman Eric Allen finished fifth with a time of 18:28. By finishing in the top 10, both have earned all-conference honors.

"I’m just happy that a lot of hard work is paying off," said Ugbesia, whose best time this season is a 15:47.6 over three miles. "I still have a lot of to do and improve on at regionals and sectionals to get to state. I love to run and want to keep at it."

As a team, the Rockets finished fifth behind very tough Crete-Monee and Bloom Township teams.

"I’m very proud of the way he has been so focused," said Rich East Head Coach Kevin Kredens. "He has really worked hard since the beginning of the season. He studies the courses he runs and studies who his competition is. He runs very smoothly. I believe he will get better."

On the girls side, seniors Sarah Abbott (fifth) and Reilly Minnich (eighth) were also all-conference.