History was made Saturday at Illinois Central College.

For the first time in its program's history, the Morton girls cross country team qualified for the Illinois High School Association Class 2A state final.

History was made Saturday at Illinois Central College.

For the first time in its program's history, the Morton girls cross country team qualified for the Illinois High School Association Class 2A state final.

The Potters were fourth with 162 points at the Notre Dame Sectional to attain one of the five spots reserved at the site for a state bid.

Bridget Carius, a senior, paced Morton with a sixth-place overall time of 18:08 for 2.95 miles.

"I feel like the team really worked hard," said Carius. "I'm glad we made it as a team."

The Potters were two points better than fifth-place Galesburg and 13 in front of Mid-Illini Conference rival Washington.

"This is fantastic," MHS head coach Joel Zehr said. "The girls were just thrilled."

Morton closed out the race superbly to ease some of the tension for what was expected to be a close battle for third through about eighth places.

Junior Brooke Goodyear was 27th in 19:25, followed by freshman Bayley Selburg, who was 34th overall in 19:35.

Zehr said the Potters' fourth and fifth runners, senior Hannah Behle and sophomore Erika Gordon, had phenomenal last half-miles.

"Every spot they got was one of the spots that pushed us ahead of Galesburg," Zehr said.

Behle was 37th in 19:38 and Gordon placed 62nd in 20:11.

Freshman Chloe Williams and junior Katie Saunders also competed for the Morton girls.

By 73 points, Normal University won the girls' sectional crown.

Notre Dame and Geneseo joined Morton and Galesburg as team qualifiers.

Brady Carius, a sophomore, was the top Potter individual in the boys' competition.

He was 21st overall and the No. 9 runner not part of a state-qualifying team (the top seven make the state field). Carius missed by three seconds with a time of 16 minutes.

"He's only going to get stronger with the work he's dedicated to this," Zehr said of Carius. "He's a smart, savvy runner."

Seniors Luke Riffle, Quentin Young and Matt Lyons and freshman Zack Siscoe all ran at the sectional as well.

U-High was the boys' sectional champion with 59 points.

Notre Dame, East Moline United, Pontiac and Metamora also made it to state as teams.

State: The final races of the IHSA season will occur Saturday at Detweiller Park.

"It will be a great time for the girls to go out and race in that environment," Zehr said.

The Class 2A girls begin at 11 a.m., with the 2A boys at noon.

"I'm so excited," Carius said. "I can't wait to have another week with this team."

The awards ceremony for 2A girls and boys is set for 1 p.m.