RB senior Cooper Marrs (in blue) running with defending state champion Aden Bandukwala of Hinsdale Central with about 800 yards to go at Lyons Township regional meet on Saturday. Marrs finished fourth (15:49.39 for 5,000 meters) just behind Bandukwala who finished third just ahead of Marrs in 15:49.10. | Bob Skolnik
Brady Norman

Although a part of last year’s Class 2A state championship lineup, Brady Norman battled an illness just to contribute. 

“I had RSV and it took me out for a while. I wasn’t better until a couple of weeks after state,” Norman said. 

“I just went out and ran (state) and just did it. Obviously, I’m grateful to be healthy this season and to not have to deal with any of that.” 

The Bulldogs continue handling this year’s transition to 3A Oct. 21 as they finished second at the Lyons Township Regional to advance to the Hinsdale Central Sectional Saturday.  

Returning 2A all-stater Cooper Marrs was an all-regional fourth (15:49.31 for 3.1 miles), followed by senior Jack O’Brien (8th, 16:15.80), junior Brady Norman (14th, 16:37.66), seniors Brennan Lester (15th, 16:38.75) and Will Kallas (16th, 16:43.96) and juniors Diego Lopez-Molina (27th, 17:04.08) and Asa Kahle (28th, 17:09.86) 

“We had a strong 3-4-5 right in succession. We’re looking good,” Norman said. “I started to fade from the lead pack and then I had Brennan right behind me and we kind of worked together.” 

Marrs finished behind two 2022 3A top-15 state finishers. 

“It felt good to see some good competition, some super-fast runners. I was just trying to hold my own and see what happened,” Marrs said. 

RBHS (57 points) finished behind No. 1-ranked Downers Grove North (21) and just ahead of third-place Lyons Township (72), which rested its two 2022 all-staters, and state-ranked Hinsdale Central (87). 

At sectionals, the top seven teams and 10 top-finishing individuals not among those teams advance to state.  

The Bulldogs are among seven sectional teams ranked top 25 in the final 3A regular-season polls by ILXCTF and ILMileSplit. Two other teams received top 30 rankings. 

“After this race, definitely very confident we can compete,” O’Brien said. “It all started when we put a good race together in conference. It just felt like we can run in a good pack together. We can run the times that we want to run together.”  

Addie Vaia

The RBHS girls also advanced by finishing fifth (150 points). Two-time 2A individual state qualifier Gianna Gelb was 21st (20:29.69), followed by sophomore Addie Vaia (25th, 20:52.96), seniors Lily Kocourek (32nd, 21:49.84), Maria Dalton (35th, 21:58.28) and Maia Nelson (37th, 22:20.19) and sophomores Rebecca Dosek (39th, 22:40.67) and Mia Alcaraz (48th, 23:29.35).  

It was a great second race for Vaia, who joined the team after her girls volleyball season ended. Vaia previously raced at the RB Invite Sept. 16 when her team didn’t have an invite that weekend and was 10th overall (20:10.8 for 3.0 miles). 

“I think I did pretty well (Saturday). It was different just because it was a little bit longer (than 3.0 miles),” Vaia said.  

“Basically, I started running (during COVID) a lot and I’ve always been pretty fast but I never wanted to take it anywhere, just a part of me. One of my basketball coaches was like, ‘You should try cross country.’ “ 

RBHS girls swimming and diving 

Maria Ellis

The Bulldogs finished fourth at the Suburban Prairie Conference Meet Saturday with 163 points. 

Sophomore Maria Ellis was second in the 200-yard individual medley (2:15.93), third in the 500 freestyle (5:34.96) and joined Kate Ryan, Maggie McCoy and Emily Baartman on the third-place 200 free relay (1:47.45) and 400 free relay (1:56.28). 

Diver Brynn Gizewski was fourth (320.90 points). McCoy (100 free in 57.60) and the 200 medley relay of Olivia Dobbe, Caroline Strubbe, Audrey Simpson and Ryan (2:09.00) were fifth. 

Junior all-state standout Hailey Vlcek was on a recruiting trip and did not compete. 

RBHS girls volleyball 

The Metro Suburban Conference champion Bulldogs (19-14) are the No. 10 seed in the Class 4A Hinsdale Central Sectional.

They began RBHS Regional play Tuesday against No. 6 Downers Grove North (21-14). The winner advanced to the 6 p.m. regional final Thursday, most likely against No. 3 Lyons Township (28-7). 

The sectional semifinals are at 7 p.m. Monday most likely against No. 2 Willowbrook (34-1).   

The sectional final is at 6 p.m. Nov. 1. Oak Park and River Forest (28-6) is the No. 1 seed. 

4-13 and Libertyville 35-28.